The Side Effects of Gardenal

Gardenal, a trade name for the generic phenobarbital, acts on the central nervous system and the brain, according to the Stason website. Gardenal controls epileptic seizures and relieves anxiety by acting as a sedative. Barbiturates, such as Gardenal, pose a threat of drug dependency so take only as directed by your physician.

Side Effects

Common side effects to Gardenal include dizziness, clumsiness, persistent drowsiness, unsteadiness or lightheadedness, according to the Herbs 2000 website. Other adverse reactions to Gardenal include anxiety, insomnia, irritability, nervousness, headaches, nausea or vomiting and nightmares. Serious complications from Gardenal usage consist of excessive sedation to the point you do not wake, excitability or confusion. Seek medical assistance immediately if your eyelids, lips or face swell or sores appear on your mouth or lips. Yellow discoloration of skin or eyes is another indication of a severe reaction to Gardenal.


Ingesting Gardenal, even in doses prescribed by your physician, may react with other medicines that possess sedative properties, according to the Herbs 2000 website. Gardenal potentially decreases the efficacy of anticoagulants such as Coumadin and certain beta blockers like Inderal and Lopressor. Occasionally bupropion or Wellbutrin and paraoxetin or Paxil react adversely with Gardenal and reduce their effectiveness. Also, Gardenal may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills in preventing pregnancy. The effectiveness of tricyclic antidepressants such as Amitriptyline potentially decreases when taken with Gardenal. Avoid taking vitamin C, which serves to increase the efficacy of Gardenal. Alcohol and smoking also enhance the effectiveness of Gardenal.


Gardenal is a controlled substance and may only be prescribed by a physician or certified health professional. Avoid taking Gardenal when operating dangerous machinery or a vehicle. Do not take more Gardenal than prescribed by your physician and take it exactly as directed. Taking Gardenal for an extended period of time under the care of a physician requires regular monitoring. A gradual reduction in dose and consultation with your physician is recommended when discontinuing the use of Gardenal.

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