Recommended dosage

The typical dose of phenobarbital for use as an anti-convulsant in adults is 50-100 mg given two to three times per day. When a series of serious seizures known as status epilepticus occurs, adults are usually first given 300-800 mg intravenously (directly into the vein) followed by 120-240 mg every 20 minutes up to a maximum of 1000-2000 mg. For sedation, adults are given 30-120 mg per day divided into two or three doses. For sedation before surgery, 100-200 mg are given in an intramuscular injection (a shot) about one hour before the surgery.

The typical dose for an anticonvulsant effect in new-borns is 2 mg to 4 mg of phenobarbital per kilogram of body weight per day. In infants, this dose is 5 mg to 8 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. In children one to five years of age, the dose is 6 mg to 8 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. In children aged five to 12 years, the dose is 4 mg to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. All of these doses are given in one to two divided doses per day.

In newborns with status epilepticus, phenobarbital 15 mg to 20 mg per kilogram of body weight is given in a single or divided dose. Infants and children are given 10 mg to 20 mg per kilogram of body weight in a single or divided dose. They may also receive 5 mg per kilogram of body weight every 15 to 30 minutes up to a maximum of 40 mg per kilogram body weight. For anesthesia before surgery, 1 mg to 3 mg per kilogram of body weight is given about one hour before the surgery.

The typical dose of butalbital, as a component of headache preparations such as Fiorinal or Fioricet, is 50-100 mg administered every four to six hours as needed.

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