• eg penobarbital, primidone, mephobarbital
• phenobarbital commonly used (inexpensive, effective and few side effects) – unlike other barbiturates it can suppress seizures at doses below the level that affects other CNS functions
• binds to GABA receptors  enhances effect of GABA
• used for tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures and partial seizures (also used for sedation and sleep disorders)
• adverse effects – drowsiness, physical dependence, alterations to cognition, mood and behaviour
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