Open Access Articles- Top Results for Barbital


File:Barbital ball-and-stick.png
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
AHFS/ International Drug Names
MedlinePlus a682221
Pharmacokinetic data
Half-life 30.3 (± 3.2) hours
57-44-3 7pxY
PubChem CID 2294
DrugBank DB01483 7pxY
ChemSpider 2206 7pxY
KEGG D01740 7pxY
ChEBI CHEBI:31252 7pxY
Chemical data
Formula C8H12N2O3
184.193 g/mol
 14pxY (what is this?)  (verify)

Barbital (as known in the United States) or barbitone (as known elsewhere), marketed under the brand names Veronal for the pure acid and Medinal for the sodium salt, was the first commercially available barbiturate. It was used as a sleeping aid (hypnotic) from 1903 until the mid-1950s. The chemical names for barbitone are diethylmalonyl urea or diethylbarbituric acid; hence, the sodium salt (known as medinal, a genericised trademark in the United Kingdom), is known also as sodium diethylbarbiturate. Barbitone was prepared by condensing diethylmalonic ester with urea in the presence of sodium ethoxide, and then by adding at least two molar equivalents of ethyl iodide to the silver salt of malonylurea or possibly to a basic solution of the acid. The result was an odorless, slightly bitter, white crystalline powder.


Barbitone was first synthesized in 1902 by German chemists Emil Fischer and Joseph von Mering.* [1] They published their discovery in 1903 and it was marketed in 1904 by the Bayer company as “Veronal”. A soluble salt of barbitone was marketed by the Schering company as “Medinal.” It was dispensed for “insomnia induced by nervous excitability”.[2][unreliable source?] It was provided in either capsules or cachets. The therapeutic dose was ten to fifteen grains (0.65-0.97 grams). 3.5 to 4.4 grams is the deadly dose but sleep has also been prolonged up to ten days with recovery.

Barbitone can be synthesized in a condensation reaction from urea and diethyl-2,2-diethylmalonate, a diethyl malonate derivative:



Barbitone was considered to be a great improvement over the existing hypnotics. Its taste was slightly bitter, but an improvement over the strong, unpleasant taste of the commonly used bromides. It had few side effects. Its therapeutic dose was far below the toxic dose. However, prolonged usage resulted in tolerance to the drug, requiring higher doses to reach the desired effect. Fatal overdoses of this slow acting hypnotic were not uncommon. Pioneering aviator Arthur Whitten Brown (of "Alcock and Brown" fame) died of an accidental overdose.[3]

pH Buffer

Solutions of sodium barbital have also been used as pH buffers for biological research, e.g. in immunoelectrophoresis or in fixative solutions.[4][5] As barbital is a controlled substance, barbital-based buffers have largely been replaced by other substances.[6]


  1. ^ Fischer, Emil; von Mering, Joseph (1903). "Ueber eine neue Klasse von Schlafmitteln". Therapie der Gegenwart 44: 97–101. 
  2. ^ Finley, Ellingwood (1919). "Veronal". The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. Retrieved 7 Nov 2005. 
  3. ^ "Arthur Whitten Brown (1886–1948) – Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Wolf D. Kuhlmann, "Buffer Solutions"" (PDF). 10 September 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Steven E. Ruzin (1999). Plant Microtechnique and Microscopy. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Monthony, JF; Wallace, EG; Allen, DM (Oct 1978). "A non-barbital buffer for immunoelectrophoresis and zone electrophoresis in agarose gels". Clinical Chemistry 24 (10): 1825–7. PMID 568042. 

Further reading

  • Invalid language code. Dombrowski SM, Krishnan R, Witte M,Maitra S, Diesing C, et al. 1998. Constitutive and barbital-induced expression of the CYP6A2 allele of a high producerstrain of CYP6A2 in the genetic backgroundof a low producer strain. Gene221:69–77.
  • 12px Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Veronal". Encyclopædia Britannica 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 1037.