Seconal (Secobarbital) Detox: Timeline And Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on October 11, 2021

Seconal (secobarbital) is a prescription medicine that can be habit-forming and addictive. Medical support and overnight care may be required for Seconal detox, particularly if you or a loved one has a Seconal addiction.

How To Detox From Seconal

Seconal is a brand name for secobarbital, a barbiturate drug prescribed on a short-term basis for insomnia, and to relieve anxiety prior to a major surgery.

Seconal is similar to drugs such as:

  • phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • pentobarbital (Nembutal)
  • butabarbital (Butisol)
  • amobarbital (Amytal)

Taking Seconal regularly for at least several weeks can cause physical dependence and withdrawal with stopped use. Severe withdrawal can become life-threatening if not properly treated.

Find out more about barbiturate detox programs

Symptoms Of Seconal Withdrawal

People who are physically dependent on Seconal may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms within hours of taking their last dose.

Early withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • dizziness
  • anxiety
  • restlessness
  • tremors
  • muscle twitching
  • insomnia
  • changes in vision
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sweating

Late withdrawal symptoms may include severe confusion (delirium) and seizures.

Severe withdrawal symptoms can occur in some people. For this reason, seeking medical support for detox is highly recommended.

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Timeline For Secobarbital Detox

When withdrawal begins and how long it lasts can vary from person to person. However, withdrawal generally sets in within the first eight to 12 hours after last use.

Major withdrawal, including seizures, may occur within the first 18 hours, if withdrawal is not properly identified and managed by a medical professional.

Withdrawal may last up to five days or longer. Some symptoms, including psychological symptoms and general discomfort, may last up to two weeks.

What Factors Can Affect The Timeline For Seconal Detox?

The length and intensity of the detox process after stopping Seconal can vary according to a wide range of personal, biological, and environmental factors.

Factors that can affect the duration of withdrawal include:

  • age
  • duration of drug use
  • history of drug abuse
  • frequency of use
  • dose of Seconal taken
  • abuse of multiple drugs (including alcohol)
  • overall health

Certain populations may be at risk for longer and more severe withdrawal.

This includes the elderly, those who have a history of drug addiction, and people with other co-occurring medical or mental health conditions.

Dangers Of Seconal Detox

Seconal is a dangerous drug to stop cold-turkey. Medical complications while detoxing from barbiturates like Seconal can be lethal without proper treatment.

Potential complications of Seconal detox include:

  • seizures
  • convulsions
  • delirium
  • circulatory failure
  • death

Finding a detox program for getting off Seconal, through either a doctor or addiction treatment provider, is the safest way to prevent dangers during the detox process.

Medical Detox For Seconal Addiction

Medical detox is the safest option for detoxing from barbiturates and other drugs known to cause severe withdrawal. This type of program can offer overnight care and 24-hour clinical support.

Medical detox programs can also provide:

  • supportive care
  • medicine for severe withdrawal
  • close supervision
  • referral to substance abuse treatment

A medically supervised environment for detox can be critical for safety purposes, particularly within the first few days of detox.

For those addicted to Seconal, finding a treatment program for substance abuse or addiction may be recommended after detox. This can help individuals begin their addiction recovery journey.

Seconal Detox FAQs

Seconal is a powerful anticonvulsant that can cause severe withdrawal with stopped use. Find answers here to common questions about the Seconal detox process.

❓ How Long Does Seconal Stay In Your System?

✔️ Secobarbital has a half-life of about 15 to 40 hours. It takes about five half-lives, on average, for a drug to be fully eliminated from a person’s system.

Learn more about how long drugs stay in your system

❓ Can Secobarbital Be Stopped Abruptly?

✔️ This is not recommended. Stopping Seconal abruptly after taking it regularly for a long time may cause severe and potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Doctors typically recommend weaning off Seconal slowly, by gradually reducing your dosage over the course of several weeks, depending on the dose you start at.

❓ Can You Detox From Seconal At Home?

✔️ Detoxing from barbiturates at home is not generally recommended, due to potential complications that can occur early on in the detox process.

Your best course of action for detox can be determined by a medical doctor or intake specialist, based on an assessment of your drug use, overall health, and related factors.

Find Treatment For Seconal Detox Today

Millions of people in the United States misuse prescription drugs like Seconal and other sedatives each year. If this describes you or a loved one, you are not alone.

Call our helpline today to learn more about Seconal detox options and how to find the best drug treatment center near you that offers detox services.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on October 11, 2021
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