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Generic ingredients: Phenobarbital, Hyoscyamine sulfate, Atropine sulfate, Scopolamine hydrobromide
Other brand name: Bellatal
Why is this drug prescribed: Donnatal is a mild antispasmodic medication; it has been used with other drugs for relief of cramps and pain associated with various stomach, intestinal, and bowel disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, acute colitis, and duodenal ulcer. One of its ingredients, phenobarbital, is a mild sedative.
Most important fact about this drug: Phenobarbital, one of the ingredients of Donnatal, can be habit-forming. If you have ever been dependent on drugs, do not take Donnatal.
How should you take this medication: Take Donnatal one-half hour to 1 hour before meals. Use it exactly as prescribed. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container. Protect from light.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Donnatal. Side effects may include: Agitation, allergic reaction, bloated feeling, blurred vision, constipation, decreased sweating, difficulty sleeping, difficulty urinating, dilation of the pupil of the eye, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, excitement, fast or fluttery heartbeat, headache, hives, impotence, muscular and bone pain, nausea, nervousness, rash, reduced sense of taste, suppression of lactation, vomiting, weakness
Why should this drug not be prescribed: Do not take Donnatal if you suffer from the eye condition called glaucoma, diseases that block the urinary or gastrointestinal tracts, or myasthenia gravis, a condition in which the muscles become progressively paralyzed. Also, you should not use Donnatal if you have intestinal atony (loss of strength in the intestinal muscles), unstable cardiovascular status, severe ulcerative colitis (chronic inflammation and ulceration of the bowel), or hiatal hernia (a rupture in the diaphragm above the stomach). You should also avoid Donnatal if you have acute intermittent porphyria--a disorder of the metabolism in which there is severe abdominal pain and sensitivity to light. If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Donnatal, its ingredients, or similar drugs, you should not take this medication. Also avoid Donnatal if phenobarbital makes you excited or restless, instead of calming you down. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Special warnings about this medication: Be cautious in using Donnatal if you suffer from high blood pressure, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), irregular or rapid heartbeat, or heart, kidney, or liver disease. Donnatal can decrease sweating. If you are exercising or are subjected to high temperatures, be alert for heat prostration. If you develop diarrhea, especially if you have an ileostomy or colostomy (artificial openings to the bowel), check with your doctor. If you have a gastric ulcer, use this medication with caution. Donnatal may cause you to become drowsy or less alert. You should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Donnatal may intensify the effects of alcohol. Check with your doctor before using alcohol with this medication. Avoid taking antacids within 1 hour of a dose of Donnatal; they may reduce its effectiveness. If Donnatal is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Donnatal with the following: Antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofranil Antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors, including Nardil and Parnate Antihistamines such as Benadryl Antispasmodic drugs such as Bentyl and Cogentin Barbiturates such as Seconal Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin Diarrhea medications containing Kaolin or attapulgite Digitalis (Lanoxin) Narcotics such as Percocet Potassium (Slow-K, K-Dur, others) Steroids such as Medrol and Deltasone Tranquilizers such as Valium
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Donnatal during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, this drug should be used only when prescribed by your doctor. It is not known whether Donnatal appears in breast milk. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Your doctor will adjust the dosage to your needs. Tablets or Capsules The usual dosage is 1 or 2 tablets or capsules, 3 or 4 times a day. Liquid The usual dosage is 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 or 4 times a day. Donnatal Extentabs The usual dosage is 1 tablet every 12 hours. Your doctor may tell you to take 1 tablet every 8 hours, if necessary. CHILDREN: Dosage of the elixir is determined by body weight; it can be given every 4 to 6 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully when giving this medication to a child.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can cause symptoms of overdose. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. The symptoms of Donnatal overdose may include: Blurred vision, central nervous system stimulation, difficulty swallowing, dilated pupils, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, hot and dry skin, nausea, vomiting