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Mysoline Addiction

Mysoline is the brand name of a prescription barbiturate known as primidone and was once widely used to treat the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and epilepsy. 

However, during the past few decades, Mysoline and barbiturates, in general, have largely fallen out of use due to not only their high potential for abuse and addiction but also the numerous harmful side effects associated with proper, prescribed use.

Today, Mysoline is rarely used, and generally only prescribed by doctors to treat patients who have proven to be resistant to other, safer medications. Despite generally being confined to these restrictive medical settings, barbiturates can still be illicitly obtained over the internet and on the black market, which means their addictive nature still poses a danger. 

How Does Mysoline Work?

Mysoline works in the same way as barbiturates and most other central nervous system depressants, creating incredibly powerful feelings of sedation by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain. GABA, short for gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is a neurotransmitter that manages feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear in the body by inhibiting the nerve impulses carrying those feelings from reaching the brain.

Mysoline enters the brain and binds to its GABA receptors by mimicking the naturally produced GABA. Then, it activates these receptors, again and again, to stimulate them into overproducing GABA until it floods the brain and nervous system, slowing everything down to ease anxiety and induce sleep. 

What Are the Signs of Mysoline Addiction?

Identifying the signs of Mysoline abuse or addiction, in theory, shouldn’t be all that difficult. However, in practice, without the benefit of hindsight, it can be easy to miss certain red flags that point to a growing addiction to Mysoline. This is especially true since it is a prescription medication and, therefore, its misuse may not be recognized for what it is until that misuse has progressed to abuse, and finally, addiction.

Catching a growing addiction to Mysoline can make all the difference when it comes to a successful recovery as well as preventing a potentially fatal overdose, which is why it is important to look for signs like the side effects commonly associated with regular, long-term Mysoline abuse, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Recurring periods of confusion
  • Frequent drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Chronic respiratory problems
  • Increased heart-related problems

It’s possible for even the person who is abusing Mysoline to pass the point where abuse becomes addiction before it’s too late. This transition is typically marked by compulsive and obsessive use that the person addicted to Mysoline can no longer control.

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At this point, using Mysoline becomes the driving force in their lives, pushing aside nearly every previous priority, regardless of any potential negative effects, including financial problems, job loss, or legal repercussions. These behaviors will only become more obvious and damaging as the addiction worsens.

Some signs of Mysoline addiction include:

  • Taking Mysoline in larger amounts or more often than prescribed
  • Using Mysoline without a prescription
  • Attempting to forge prescriptions for Mysoline
  • Increasing tolerance to Mysoline’s effects
  • Experiencing strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms when not using Mysoline
  • Lying about or trying to hide Mysoline use
  • Noticeable decline in personal hygiene and appearance
  • Becoming increasingly isolated and withdrawn
  • Stealing money or valuables to obtain Mysoline
  • Feeling unable to function normally without Mysoline
  • Being unable to stop using Mysoline even after trying to

If you are experiencing these symptoms yourself or have recognized them in the behavior of a family member or friend, do not wait to take action and seek out professional addiction treatment before the addiction can progress any further and cause any more psychological or physical damage than it may already have. 

What Is Involved in Mysoline Addiction Treatment?

Mysoline addiction treatment should begin with supervised medical detox, which is the process of treating acute intoxication and achieving mental and physical stabilization by removing drugs, alcohol, and other toxins from the body.

As a barbiturate, Mysoline detox is a similar experience to detoxing from benzodiazepines, meaning that Mysoline withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable with potentially lethal symptoms

Mysoline detox should never be attempted without the presence of an experienced medical detox team. This helps avoid not only relapse but also any possibly life-threatening complications due to symptoms like hallucinations, memory loss, seizures, delirium, and suicidal behavior. 

Once a client has completed detox, and the symptoms of Mysoline withdrawal have diminished to the point where they are no longer dangerous, the next step in Mysoline addiction treatment is to continue with ongoing care in an addiction rehabilitation treatment program. Failing to follow up with addiction therapy after detox all but guarantees relapse, typically in less than a few weeks.

Recovery treatment can usually be done in the form of either an inpatient or outpatient program, both of which come in different forms and levels of intensive care. The essential difference is that in an inpatient program, a client will live onsite at a treatment facility for the duration of the program, with access to 24/7 medical and therapeutic care. In outpatient treatment, the client will remain at home or in a sober living house and instead travel to the center for regular sessions and appointments. 

Inpatient treatment is typically the better option for those with severe addictions or a history of relapse while outpatient is best for those in the earlier stages of addiction who have a reliable outside support system. 

A typical treatment program will often involve collaboration between the therapist and client to create a treatment plan customized to best fit the client’s needs and will incorporate different therapies and treatments like behavioral therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, addiction education, group counseling, medication-assisted treatment, relapse prevention planning, and more. 

How Dangerous Is Mysoline?

Mysoline and other barbiturates like it are rarely used today for the sole reason that they are extremely dangerous, even when you are taking them exactly as prescribed and not engaging in any misuse. When Mysoline is abused, it can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, memory loss, and osteoporosis. 

Mysoline, like the majority of barbiturates, also has an extremely high risk of overdose, which becomes even more likely when it is combined with other depressants like alcohol. The symptoms of a Mysoline overdose include:

  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • Weak pulse
  • Impaired reflexes
  • An inability to remain conscious
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Coma

Overdosing on Mysoline can easily prove fatal, if not from the stoppage of breath caused by its depressant effects then from complications due to a buildup of excess fluid in the lungs, as well as liver, kidney or heart failure. If someone is experiencing a Mysoline overdose, it is vital that they receive emergency medical attention and services as soon as possible to avoid death or permanent organ damage.

Mysoline Abuse Statistics

  • According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, as of 2017, only 12 barbiturate substances in are in medical use.
  • In recent decades, U.S. doctors have only prescribed Mysoline to patients who are not candidates for surgery and have already tried all other first-line anticonvulsants without success. 
  • 1 in every 10 people who overdose on barbiturates dies, usually as a result of lung or heart complications.
Many people


Everyday Health. What Is Primidone (Mysoline)?. ( June 22, 2015) Marks, L., Jasmer, R. MD from

Allan, A. M., Zhang, X., & Baier, L. D. (2003, March). Barbiturate Tolerance: Effects on GABA-Operated Chloride Channel Function. from

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2017, June). Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide. from

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2017, September). Barbiturate Intoxication and Overdose. from

RxList.Mysoline. Mysoline Side Effects Center. (May 13, 2019) Cunha, J. DO, FACOEP from

Medical News Today. Everything you need to know about barbiturates. Risks. (June 25, 2018) David, K. FNP, Slowiczek, L. Pharm.D. from

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