Mephobarbital (By mouth)


Mephobarbital (mef-oh-BAR-bi-tal)

Treats epileptic seizures. Also treats feelings of anxiety, stress, and nervousness. Mephobarbital (Mebaral®) was withdrawn from the US market by Lundbeck, Inc on February 29, 2012. This withdrawal was not related to safety concerns.

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. Your doctor will tell you the best time to take your medicine (during the day or at bedtime).

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • There are many other medicines that can interact with mephobarbital (Mebaral®). Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using another anticonvulsant medicine, or if you are also using phenobarbital (Luminal®, Solfoton®). Let your doctor know if you are also using an anticoagulant medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin®), acenocoumarol, dicumarol, or phenprocoumon. Let your doctor know if you are also using a corticosteroid medicine, such as prednisone, hydrocortisone (Cortef®, Hydrocortone®), or dexamethasone (Decadron®, Dexadrol®).
  • Let your doctor know if you are also using griseofulvin (Grifulvin V®, Grisactin®, Fulvicin PG®) or doxycycline (Vibramycin®, Doxychel®, Doxy®, Doryx®, Periostat®, Monodox®). Let your doctor know if you are also using phenytoin (Dilantin®), sodium valproate, or valproic acid (Depakene®).
  • Let your doctor know if you are also using other sedative medicines, or if you are also using antihistamines or tranquilizers.
  • Let your doctor know if you are also using a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®. Let your doctor know if you are also using a steroidal hormone medicine, such as estradiol (Alora®, Estrace®, Cilmara®, Estraderm®), estrone, or progesterone.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have kidney problems or liver disease. Make sure your doctor knows if you have heart or breathing problems. Let your doctor know if you have a history of drug abuse, or if you are unusually sad, or have thoughts of killing yourself.
  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Birth control pills may not work while you are using this medicine. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control. Other forms include condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have myasthenia gravis (a disease that makes your muscles weak). Make sure your doctor knows if you have hypothyroidism (a disease where your body does not make enough of a certain kind of chemical).
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor may need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Eye or muscle twitching.
  • Feeling weak or clumsy, or loss of coordination.
  • Feeling confused, upset, nervous, or unusually grouchy; difficulty thinking clearly.
  • Sleeping too much or too little, or having nightmares.
  • Headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or constipation.
  • Pain or tenderness in your bones, or bones breaking more easily.
  • Seeing things that are not there.
  • Trouble focusing your attention, or feeling hyperactive.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 9/4/2017

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