Mysoline is a long-standing medication used to treat certain kinds of seizures. It is the brand name for primidone, a barbiturate and anticonvulsant drug first approved for medical use in 1954.

Today, it is still widely prescribed for epilepsy and benign essential tremors and remains one of the top 300 medicines in terms of total prescriptions for 2016.

Despite its enduring medical utility, Mysoline is capable of producing harmful effects both in withdrawal and overdose. Because it is a barbiturate, the difference between a prescribed dose and one that leads to overdose is slight. What’s more, it is one of the most dangerous substances in withdrawal, producing life-threatening effects.

A majority of people in Mysoline withdrawal experience seizures and delirium, which can last for several days.

This is precisely why professional treatment is vital for someone with Mysoline dependence, experiencing withdrawal.  

Mysoline Withdrawal Symptoms

The exact mechanism of action for Mysoline is not known. However, it is believed to work by slowing and controlling nerve impulses in the brain. The active metabolites of Mysoline are the barbiturate compounds phenobarbital and phenylethylmalonamide (PEMA). These compounds possess anticonvulsant and sedative attributes. Mysoline is available as a tablet, in 50 milligram (mg) or 250 mg formulations.  

As with other drugs, people can exhibit dependence when they experience bodily disturbances once the substance exits their system. These disturbances are referred to as withdrawal symptoms. What’s notable about barbiturate withdrawal is that it can produce life-threatening seizures. Common symptoms can include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Fever

Timeline of Mysoline Withdrawal

Mysoline withdrawal depends on one’s neurochemistry, so symptoms will manifest differently from person to person. Certain factors could affect the onset and severity of those withdrawal symptoms. Those factors include: 

  • Mysoline dosage amount. Higher doses of Mysoline in the body can lead to a more protracted and uncomfortable withdrawal period.
  • Length of time on the drug
  • Overall physical health
  • Support system
  • Overall mental health
  • Presence of other drugs that are abused

Mysoline withdrawal can last for a few weeks with symptoms manifesting three days after last use. Withdrawal symptoms do not occur in any particular sequence and highly uncomfortable effects can accompany minor ones.

Days 1-3: During this phase, people going through Mysoline withdrawal will experience relatively minor symptoms like vomiting, nausea, irritability, insomnia, and/or frequent or sudden mood changes. These effects are due to the change in the brain’s chemistry as the person undergoes withdrawal. The brain and body are attempting to adjust without the presence of Mysoline.

Along with those minor effects is the potential for the most dangerous withdrawal symptom associated with Mysoline: seizures. These are essentially rebound seizures, when the brain attempts to resume its chemistry before Mysoline was introduced to the system. Seizures of this type can be fatal, especially if a person took high doses of the drug. 

Days 4-6: In this phase, users will experience a gradual decrease in major symptoms like seizures, although symptoms do not completely go away. Symptoms such as mood swings and insomnia may endure and even get worse.

1 week and beyond: After the first week, symptoms will continue to diminish rapidly. Mysoline withdrawal generally lasts for a few weeks, though the length of time can vary from person to person. People who took the medication in high doses can expect a protracted withdrawal period. Conversely, users who have taken smaller doses of the drug can expect shortened withdrawal period of one week. The patient’s dosage amount and unique neurochemistry will ultimately determine the total duration of withdrawal. 

Mysoline Overdose

Mysoline overdose can generate a multitude of effects, including death. According to RxList, the most common Mysoline overdose symptoms include:

  • Death
  • Cardiac damage
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slow heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Spasms
  • Nervousness

Should I Detox?

Mysoline is highly addictive and dangerous, which is why doctors have stopped prescribing it.

Due to its high addiction potential and dangerous effects, professional treatment is highly recommended because quitting “cold turkey” can leave users susceptible to relapse and potentially fatal overdose, not to mention the seizures. 

Because withdrawal is an unavoidable consequence, it is best to undergo that process in a professional setting through a process known as medical detoxification

A professionally administered detox will allow for patients to be “tapered” off the addictive substance to lessen the impact of withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms that arise at this juncture are medically addressed by a team of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel. This includes medical treatment for seizures.

This type of detox process is far safer and more comfortable than attempting to quit Mysoline on your own. 

Before a detox plan starts, a doctor will perform a comprehensive medical assessment where patients are screened for the presence of any other substances.

A glowing brain hovering over a hand

They will also be reviewed for medical issues and/or mental health conditions. Based on those results, a doctor will tailor a plan that addresses a patient’s unique needs, including any co-existing mental health issues.   

How Professional Treatment Helps

Residential/Inpatient Treatment

Once you undergo detox, comprehensive therapy starts with residential/inpatient treatment.  For barbiturate dependencies like Mysoline, an inpatient program where you reside and receive treatment at a facility allows you to concentrate on your sobriety and wellness full time. 

If you have any co-occurring medical and mental health issues, a dual-diagnosis program can provide a suite of services to address the multiple conditions in a client. Residential treatment is principally concerned with the psychological and emotional ravages of your Mysoline dependence. Thus, an array of evidence-based and alternative treatment modalities are provided to help clients uncover why they misuse substances.  

Therapy sessions are generally five days a week. Additionally, you will be provided with mental and emotional support. You will also be administered life skills education that prepares you to live life as a newly sober person.

Partial Hospitalization

Considered a hybrid of inpatient and outpatient treatment, a partial hospitalization program or PHP is primarily focused on helping you learn positive life skills, relapse prevention techniques, and coping mechanisms. A PHP will allow you to reside at a transitional living facility and receive comprehensive treatment. 

Intensive Outpatient

An intensive outpatient program or IOP will allow you to live independently while receiving therapy and counseling on a part-time basis. Patients can return home and receive treatment at an IOP or reside at a sober living facility, which provides a structured environment for clients in recovery.

Though sessions do not occur as frequently, clients will still receive intensive therapy. They will also be subject to periodic or weekly drug testing.

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