Phenobarbital and Suicidality: A Case Report

Sreeja Sahadevan, Rajan Nishanth Jayarajan, Jayaraj Kezhukkut, Thekkanath Paul Antony, Damodaran Sreekumar


Phenobarbital is widely-used in primary care for the treatment of epilepsy, headache and insomnia in India. There are certain scenarios in which its use must be monitored closely. We report a case wherein a lady was suffering from symptoms of mild depression following a stressor. After being prescribed Phenobarbital for headache and insomnia by a primary care physician, she developed suicidal ideation and made a suicide attempt. Clinicians should pick up possible appearance or worsening of depressive symptoms or emergence of suicidal ideation in patients on Phenobarbital and consider changing the treatment.

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Print ISSN: 0377-0699 Online ISSN: 2395-1486