Barbiturate is the name of a classification given to a group of sedative and sleep-inducing drugs derived from barbituric acid.
Barbiturates act by depressing the central nervous and respiratory systems; with larger doses, blood pressure may also be depressed.
Physicians use barbiturates, injected into a vein, as anesthetics.
Barbiturates are used in the treatment of epilepsy and are occasionally prescribed for sleeplessness (insomnia] and to reduce anxiety.

Are barbiturates addictive?

Barbiturates are mildly addictive and, after prolonged use, can alter the normal pattern of sleep. Because of the dangers of drug addiction and over dosage, physicians prefer to prescribe other kinds of sleep-inducing drugs.
Barbiturates should never be taken with alcohol; the combination of the two drugs can be fatal.