Urinary barbiturate screening is used to detect the use of drugs in this group of drugs.
Barbiturates are a group of drugs that act as suppressors of the central nervous system (CNS). Opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol are also CNS suppressants and their action appears to the user as an overall sense of calm. The barbiturates were introduced into medicine in 1903 and dominated as sedatives and hypnotics for the first half of the 20th century. Unfortunately, because barbiturates have a relatively low therapeutic/toxic effect rate and additionally cause severe addiction, they quickly became a major health problem. Benzodiazepines in the 1960s replaced barbiturates because of their higher safety and lower addiction.
Barbiturates are classified as very short, short, intermediate, and long-acting depending on how fast they act and the duration of their action. Very short-acting agents, such as thiopental, cause loss of consciousness in about one minute after intravenous administration and are used to prepare patients for surgery. Barbiturates are rarely prescribed for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, or stress due to the very high risk of physical dependence and potentially fatal overdose.
Physiological actions: Blood pressure lowering, respiratory depression, fatigue, fever, coordination disorder, nystagmus, speech disorders, and ataxia.
Psychological actions: Drowsiness, dizziness, unusual excitement, irritability, difficulty concentrating, sedation, confusion, reduced judgment, addiction, euphoria, anxiety reduction, and loss of inhibition.
Toxicity: Barbiturates are particularly dangerous when abused with alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines because they act on the same receptors in the body and therefore enhance the action of the drug. Symptoms of overdose may include somnolence, speech disorders, nystagmus, hypotension, ataxia, respiratory depression, CNS suppression, hypothermia, skin lesions, coma, cardiopulmonary arrest, and death. Deaths also result from acute kidney failure, pneumonia, acute pulmonary damage, brain edema, and multiple organ failure.
Barbiturates are detected in the urine from 3 days (short-acting) to 15 days (long-acting) after initial use.
The following substances are detected: secobarbital, amobarbital, aprobarbital, butobarbital, butalbital, butethal, cyclopentobarbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.