Luminal is the brand name for phenobarbital, a medication used to treat epilepsy. It was also used to treat insomnia and anxiety until it was replaced with the advent of benzodiazepines. Luminal can be addictive and cause life-threatening symptoms during withdrawal.
As a central nervous system depressant, Luminal can suppress nervous system excitability in the brain. As the brain adapts, it may start to produce less of your natural inhibitory chemicals and more excitatory ones, in order to counteract the drug. When you stop suddenly, you’ll feel the results of a chemical imbalance in your brain and body.
Learn more about how to safely get through Luminal withdrawal and how you can achieve sobriety while avoiding dangerous symptoms.
The withdrawal symptoms you experience may depend on the severity of your dependence. If you are used to taking a high dose, and you have been taking the drug for a long time, you might experience more severe symptoms, especially if you quit cold turkey.
Withdrawal symptoms continue until your body can balance your brain chemistry and get used to life without the drug. The most severe symptoms can occur a few days after you quit and might include life-threatening symptoms like seizures and delirium tremens. Symptoms can include:
Your withdrawal timeline will depend on a few personal barriers, like the length of time you were dependent, the dose you were used to, and the size of your last dose. However, it may be similar to the following timeline:
Ready to get Help?
We’re here 24/7. Pick up the phone.
Medical detox is the highest level of care available in addiction treatment, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Not everyone who seeks treatment for a substance use disorder will need this level of care. But central nervous system depressants like Luminal are the most likely drugs to warrant medical detox.
Detox involves around-the-clock medically managed care that’s designed for people who are likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Luminal can cause deadly symptoms such as seizures, delirium, and heart failure. Medical detox can also help people who have other medical needs alongside their withdrawal symptoms. It is one of the safest ways to go through withdrawal, but whether or not you go through it will depend on your needs as determined by a medical professional.
ASAM. (n.d.). What is the ASAM Criteria? Retrieved from https://www.asam.org/resources/the-asam-criteria/about
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, March 6). Prescription CNS Depressants. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants
RxList. (2019, March 5). Phenobarbital (Phenobarbital): Side Effects, Interactions, Warning, Dosage & Uses. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/phenobarbital-drug.htm#description
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019, November 6). Delirium tremens: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000766.htm