Mysoline is the brand name for a drug called primidone, which is primarily used to treat epilepsy, tremors, and other ailments that cause convulsions. Mysoline is used to suppress convulsions and seizures by abnormal electrical activity in the brain that’s caused by an overactive nervous system.
When the drug is ingested, it converts to phenobarbital as it’s metabolized. Phenobarbital binds to GABA receptors and which increases the efficiency of naturally occurring gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA).
One of GABA’s main functions is to regulate excitability in the central nervous system, but disorders that can cause nervous system overexcitement can be more than GABA can handle. Barbiturates like Mysoline can help GABA work more effectively.
Mysoline is in a broader class of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) depressants that have been used since the late 1800s. CNS depressants typically work by affecting GABA receptors in a similar way to Mysoline. Other drugs that fall into this category include benzodiazepines and alcohol. Barbiturates where used throughout the first half of the 20th century to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other ailments.
However, barbiturates come with some serious adverse effects including tolerance, dependence, dangerous withdrawal, and overdose. Because of these side effects, they fell out of regular use in the 1960s. There were largely replaced by benzodiazepines, which has some of the same side effects but a lower risk for life-threatening overdose.
Still, certain barbiturates are still used for specific purposes like Mysoline is used to treat seizures, but their risks remain. If you or someone you know has been prescribed Mysoline, it’s important to be aware of the risks and the signs of abuse or addiction. Catching a substance use disorder early can help you to avoid some of the most severe consequences of addiction like medical problems or legal issues.
Learn more about Mysoline addiction, the signs of abuse, and how it can be treated.
Mysoline addiction can come on quickly, and if you aren’t monitoring your symptoms or dosing habits, it might seem to come out of nowhere. Barbiturates are notorious for their ability to cause physical dependence after a few weeks of frequent use, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs are soon as you start to use the medication. Addiction is diagnosed as a severe substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition: DSM-5, and it generally follows less severe substance use problems.
The first sign of a substance use disorder is a growing tolerance to the drug you’ve been using. When you use Mysoline consistently, your brain will slowly start to get used to the drug, adapting to its presence in your nervous system. From your perspective, it will seem like your normal dose is starting to lose power, failing to cause the same effects that it did before.
If you are taking medicine, especially a barbiturate, you should let your doctor know when tolerance is making your standard dose less effective.
If you continue to use Mysoline after developing a tolerance, you may start to develop a chemical dependence to the drug, especially if you increase the dose you take to make up for tolerance. Chemical dependency is caused by your brain’s adaptation to the foreign chemical. The human brain is very adaptable, and it may start to balance your neurochemistry around the drug, relying on it to maintain that balance. Mysoline is a depressant, so your brain may stop producing its own central nervous depressing chemicals. In fact, it may even begin producing chemicals to counteract it.
If you stop using, you will start to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of Mysoline withdrawal can include:
A substance use disorder is severe when it’s characterized by compulsive drug use despite the serious consequences. Addiction can lead to adverse effects on health, relationships, finances, and even legal problems. However, it can still be difficult to overcome addiction or admit there is a problem, even if these issues are occurring.
When you enter an addiction treatment program for Mysoline addiction, you will go through an assessment process that is designed around finding the best level of care for your needs. This assessment will involve clinical and medical evaluation, based on the ASAM criteria, a six-dimensional assessment for treatment placement.
Because Mysoline is a potent nervous system depressant, it can cause potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can cause medical complications like seizures and delirium tremens (also known as DTs). If you enter treatment while on Mysoline, or if you recently quit, you may have to go through medical detox.
Medical detox is the highest level of care in addiction treatment. It is a 24-hour process of medically managed treatment every day. Detox lasts for between a week and 10 days, depending on your individual needs. Through medical detox, you’ll be treated to avoid dangerous complications and to alleviate discomfort as much as possible. In some cases, you may be treated with medications to help wean you off the drug slowly.
Once you complete detox, if you still have pressing medical needs, you may continue to an inpatient treatment program, that involves 24-hour medical monitoring or clinically managed treatment. Inpatient treatment is equipped to handle higher-level medical and psychological needs that lower levels of care, but it still offers a lower intensity treatment option when compared to detox.
As you progress, you may continue to an intensive outpatient program, which allows you to live at home, but requires you to attend at least nine hours of addiction treatment services each week. In partial hospitalization, which falls under intensive outpatient treatment, you might attend as much as 12 hours of addiction treatment services each day.
Finally, outpatient treatment is the lowest level of formal addiction treatment and involves fewer than nine hours of treatment each day. Outpatient treatment is an important step between higher levels of care and independent life after treatment.
Through the treatment process, you may go through a variety of therapies including individual, group, and family therapy. You may also go through one of a variety of behavioral therapies, especially cognitive behavioral therapy, which is used to help you identify triggers and develop relapse prevention strategies.
ASAM. (n.d.). What is the ASAM Criteria? from https://www.asam.org/resources/the-asam-criteria/about
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019, January 7). Barbiturate intoxication and overdose: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000951.htm
WebMD. (2017, March). What is GABA? from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/qa/what-is-gaba