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People with Amytal, or amobarbital, addictions who suddenly quit taking the drug will experience typical symptoms of barbiturate withdrawal. It is also said that Amytal withdrawal is similar to alcohol withdrawal and may require a period of detox before rehab treatment, a result of Amytal being both a depressant and having a long half-life, remaining in the body longer than other drugs.

The Popular Use of Amytal, Both Old and New

Amytal has gone in and out of popularity for decades. Once used as a treatment for “shell shock” in WWI soldiers, Amytal is now a contemporary pre-anesthetic for surgeries, and, though heavily regulated, a short-term sleeping aid. Still, Amytal has found its way on the streets like other illicit prescription drugs, and can lead a person to easily become addicted to the substance. Its “high” can produce a “buzzed” sensation, as if someone were getting drunk, or relaxing a person in thought, muscle coordination, and inhibition.

So when a person decides to quit taking Amytal, the reverse effects are the first natural side effects of Amytal withdrawal: anxiety, muscle pains, and confusion. If left untreated, certain symptoms may put a person at health risk, which may lead to death.


Heroin Signs

What Are Early Symptoms of Amytal Withdrawal?

Though Amytal withdrawal symptoms vary by person based on the severity of his addiction, how long he has been using Amytal, and his genetic makeup, some of common early Amytal withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping

Long-term Use of Amytal (Amobarbital)

Amytal, or amobarbital, is a common pre-anesthetic used for surgeries, but in regulated doses can be used as a sleeping aid. However, the illicit use of Amytal is not uncommon, as people use the barbiturate to induce a “buzzed” feeling similar to drinking alcohol. The drug goes by many names on the streets—blues, blue velvets, redbirds, and other variations—and may mislead people to believe that because it is a sleeping aid, that it is not as harmful as other drugs.

This is simply not true. If a person consumes or injects too large of an Amytal dose, he can risk depressing brain functions so much that his breathing stops. Every time a person uses Amytal illicitly, he teeters on the fine line of overdose and/or death. So it is important to notice signs of Amytal addiction before it’s too late.

Some side effects of long-term use of Amytal are:

  • Severe confusion
  • Decrease or loss in reflexes
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Chronic depression
  • Unusual movements in the eyes
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia

Should these side effects become apparent, they should be taken seriously and motivate you or the affected person to seek out drug treatment. Consult your physician or doctor for more information on Amytal side effects before the addiction worsens.

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pains
  • Depression
  • Muscle spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Hypertension
  • Progressive weakness
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Seizures
  • Hypothermia
  • Heart failure
  • Unsettling dreams or nightmares
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Death

Heroin Timeline

More intense, sometimes severe Amytal withdrawal symptoms may begin to occur after 16 hours since cessation from the barbiturate. These symptoms include convulsions, delirium, and seizures, and can last up to five days before they begin to subside. Hypothermia and heart failure are also possible, so medical supervision is recommended to avoid any health risks.

Physical changes, such as a runny nose, muscle and bone pain, and cramps, among other symptoms, are experienced during this period.

Once Amytal withdrawal symptoms reach their peak, their intensity begins to gradually decline, which can take up to 15 days. Some people may still find it hard to sleep well at night. As symptoms begin to decrease, this is a good opportunity to learn relapse prevention techniques and focus on recovery.

Some people going through Amytal withdrawal may find that their symptoms continue to persist weeks to even months later. They are experiencing post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS), which may require longer treatment or medical checkups with their physician or doctor to monitor their health.


Heroin Treatment

How to Safely Withdraw from Amytal (Amobarbital)

It’s customary for new clients to go into detox before entering residential rehab treatment. This detox period can last a few days (for most, around one to five days, and longer for more severe cases), depending on how severe the withdrawal symptoms may be for the person. All clients will be closely monitored 24-7 by medical professionals, who will administer medications as necessary to ease Amytal withdrawal symptoms as well as gradually taper clients off the barbiturate.

After detox, clients will be entered into an intensive program, in which they will be assigned one-on-one counseling, a nutrition and exercise plan, and group activities to help them prepare for life after treatment in recovery. Here, people can learn relapse prevention techniques, address any co-existing mental health conditions, and adopt a new, healthy lifestyle.

Safer Decisions: Get Treatment for Amytal Withdrawal, Not Self-Detox

Drug Treatment Center Finder recommends that people with an Amytal, or amobarbital addiction, seek drug treatment in order to safely withdrawal from Amytal. Do not attempt to self-detox. Though Amytal can be used as a sleeping aid, this drug’s particular withdrawal is not like any other sleeping pill withdrawal. Amobarbital is a type of barbiturate, which if stopped suddenly, can produce deadly consequences. Barbiturate withdrawal ranks similarly to alcohol withdrawal, with just as many health risks if left unmonitored by medical professionals.


Heroin FAQ

The half-life for Amytal, or amobarbital, can range between 8 to 42 hours, with an average of 25 hours. Minor symptoms of Amytal withdrawal may occur within 8 to 12 hours after the last dose of amobarbital and major symptoms may occur within 16 hours, lasting in intensity up to five days.

Yes. Anxiety is one of the first withdrawal symptoms people feel after they stop taking Amytal. Minor anxiety may occur within the first 12 hours and may grow stronger over time as the person goes through withdrawal, so if clients begin to grow concerned, they should speak with their physician or treatment specialist immediately. It is common to be given regulated doses of antianxiety medication during this time at a drug rehab.

Yes. After two weeks of daily use, Amytal begins to lose its effect as a sleeping aid, even with an increase in dosages. Consequently, if a person was taking Amytal as a sleeping pill, then his insomnia will return. Those who were misusing Amytal will find themselves having trouble sleeping. Do not attempt to increase your dosage amount to sleep better as this could result in accidental Amytal overdose. Consult your physician or doctor for sleeping concerns.

Amytal withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if left untreated. People who suddenly quit taking Amytal will be met with an array of withdrawal symptoms, which can grow intense and last for five days without waning until three weeks. Some of these symptoms include nausea and vomiting, progressive weakness, severe confusion and disorientation, delirium, and tremors.

How long Amytal withdrawal takes varies with each person. Amytal withdrawal can be similar to alcohol withdrawal; however, some people in treatment can expect a couple of weeks or more of withdrawal before beginning their recovery.

Depending on the severity of the person’s Amytal addiction, how high his dependency levels are, and how frequently he took the barbiturate, withdrawal symptoms for Amytal addiction can last between 15 days and a few weeks. Those with more intense addictions may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms, which can last months after treatment at periodic times or consistent, but mild levels.

The best way to go through Amytal withdrawal is by enrolling into a drug treatment program at a drug rehab in your area. Depending on the severity of the addiction, you can enroll in either an inpatient or outpatient program, but this should be discussed with a physician or doctor to determine the best options for your needs. The length of stay may also vary on how long you have been using Amytal, how dependent you are to the barbiturate, and whether other underlying addiction or mental health factors are involved.

No. Attempting to self-detox for Amytal withdrawal can be incredibly hazardous to your health and potentially put your life at risk. Barbiturate withdrawal is considered one of the deadlier withdrawal processes, with intense symptoms such as hypothermia, heart failure, and seizures possibly occurring if unsupervised by medical professionals on a 24-hour basis. It is much safer to enter an addiction treatment facility and ensure the safety of your health under the care of trained doctors and nurses as you go through Amytal withdrawal and detox.

Most likely. Amytal addiction is said to be similar to alcohol addiction and can involve intense withdrawal symptoms that might involve a person in going to detox before beginning their residential rehab treatment. Amytal detox can last a few days, depending on how severe the withdrawal symptoms are, before clients are escorted to their rehab facilities to fulfill the rest of their treatment.

Yes. Due to Amytal’s potency and the nature of the drug, it is very possible that without a doctor’s supervision, a person who is taking Amytal illicitly may overdose, especially if mixing with other depressants like alcohol. Keep in mind that Amytal is also used as an anesthetic before surgeries, so users who take too much of the substance may accidentally depress their breathing too much and fall into a comatose state and/or die. If you notice someone who may have abused Amytal start to drop his breathing, call 911 immediately or take him to the Emergency Room at a hospital.

You can stop taking Amytal by first consulting your physician, then enrolling in an inpatient or outpatient drug treatment program, where you can go through Amytal withdrawal and detox under medical supervision. This is the safest method to recovery and can be afforded through various payment plans. If you have any questions on how to find a drug rehab in your area or how to afford drug treatment, feel free to call our 24-hour helpline at 855-619-8070, and one of our call agents will help you right away!



At a drug rehab center, you can start your recovery with a healthy support group of trained clinical staff, other like-minded recovering addicts, and addiction counselors that only want you to succeed.


Addiction treatment programs will vary by individual and substance, depending on the severity of his addiction and whether other treatment methods need to be included, such as dual-diagnosis or holistic therapies.


Some medications that may be expected are: diazepam, a Sonata replacement; buspirone, an anti-anxiety drug; paroxetine and trazodone, antidepressants; and carbamazepine and valproate, anti-seizure medications.


Amytal is a barbiturate, which when stopped suddenly can have withdrawal symptoms even more severe than that of benzodiazepine withdrawal. In severe cases, some users can experience extremely painful or life-threatening Amytal withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures, hallucinations, muscle pains, panic attacks, nausea and vomiting, or even death. The intensity of Amytal withdrawal symptoms may be overwhelming, so it is advised that anyone who may be addicted to Amytal or is going through withdrawal should seek out drug treatment at a drug rehab near him.