Glutethimide is a hypnotic sedative that was introduced in 1954 as a safe alternative to barbiturates to treat insomnia. Before long, however, it had become clear that glutethimide was just as likely to cause addiction and caused similarly severe withdrawal symptoms.
Mode of Action:
Glutethimide seems to be a GABA agonist which helps induced sedation. It also induces CYP 2D6. When taken with codeine, it enables the body to convert higher amounts of the codeine (higher than the average 5 – 10%) to morphine. The general sedative effect also adds to the power of the combination.
Hepatic. Glutethimide is almost completely metabolized.
In adults, death has been reported after 5 g. The usual lethal dose is 10 to 20g, although survival after a dose of 28 g has been reported.
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