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NCI Drug Dictionary


A long-acting barbituric acid derivative with antipsychotic property. Phenobarbital binds to and activates the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-A receptor, thereby mimicking the inhibitory actions of GABA in the brain. The activation effects of the phenobarbital-receptor-ionophore complex include increased frequency of chloride channel openings, membrane hyperpolarization and ultimately synaptic inhibition and decreased neuronal excitability. In addition, this agent inhibits glutamate induced depolarization. Check for active clinical trials or closed clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)
Chemical structure:5-Ethyl-5-phenyl-2,4,6(1H,3H,5H)-pyrimidinetrione