Barbiturates are central nervous depressants.

They reduce the activity of nerves causing muscle relaxation. They can reduce heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. All barbiturates affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter (chemical) that nerves use to communicate with one another.

Barbiturates are usually prescription medications. Examples of barbiturates are phenobarbital, a blood pressure medication, Nembutal, and Seconal.

For more information on barbiturates, click here.

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