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The measurement of phenobarbital in the serum is used to monitor drug levels in the body during treatment, to monitor patients' compliance with treatment, and to evaluate any drug toxicity.

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Phenobarbital (Luminal, Gardenal, Kaneuron, Lumidrops) is a long-acting barbiturate drug most commonly used for its anticonvulsant action and occasionally as a sedative. It is broken down throughout the body and metabolized by the liver although 50% is excreted unchanged in the urine. Its half-life is normally 50-120 hours in adults and 40-70 hours in children.

The test is used to suspect drug toxicity or abuse by patients with symptoms such as lethargy, dizziness, ataxia and diplopia. Also, to monitor the therapeutic levels of phenobarbital especially in epileptic disorders during adolescence, after weight loss or weight gain and in the development of renal failure in patients.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Drug abuse (barbiturates), renal failure in patients receiving phenobarbital treatment.Medications that may increase levels in patients receiving phenobarbital: Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, sodium valproate, valproic acid
  • Decrease: (Below the therapeutic range) Inadequate treatment, non-compliance, malabsorption (oral doses)



Important Note

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. 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.

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