Definition

A barbituric acid derivative that acts as a nonselective central nervous system depressant. It potentiates GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID action on GABA-A RECEPTORS, and modulates chloride currents through receptor channels. It also inhibits glutamate induced depolarizations.

Description

Phenobarbital is only found in individuals that have used or taken this drug. It is a barbituric acid derivative that acts as a nonselective central nervous system depressant. It promotes binding to inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid subtype receptors, and modulates chloride currents through receptor channels. It also inhibits glutamate induced depolarizations. [PubChem] Phenobarbital acts on GABAA receptors, increasing synaptic inhibition. This has the effect of elevating seizure threshold and reducing the spread of seizure activity from a seizure focus. Phenobarbital may also inhibit calcium channels, resulting in a decrease in excitatory transmitter release. The sedative-hypnotic effects of phenobarbital are likely the result of its effect on the polysynaptic midbrain reticular formation, which controls CNS arousal.

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