Donnatal

  • What is Donnatal?

    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, spastic colon and duodenal ulcer (inconclusive for this indication).
  • What is the most important information I should know about Donnatal?

    Phenobarbital, one of the ingredients of Donnatal, can be habit-forming. If you have ever been dependent on drugs, do not take Donnatal.

    Be careful in extreme temperatures; Donnatal can cause fever and heatstroke because it prevents your body from being able to sweat.

    Donnatal may produce drowsiness or blurred vision; if this should occur, do not engage in activities requiring mental alertness, such as operating a motor vehicle or other machinery.

  • Who should not take Donnatal?

    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.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Donnatal?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with this drug. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever had any of the following: high blood pressure, gastric ulcer, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), irregular or rapid heartbeat, or heart, kidney, or liver disease. If you develop diarrhea, especially if you have an ileostomy or colostomy (artificial openings to the bowel), check with your doctor.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Your doctor will adjust the dosage to your needs. For tablets or capsules, the usual dosage is 1 or 2 tablets or capsules, 3 or 4 times a day. For liquid, the usual dosage is 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 or 4 times a day. For 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.

  • How should I take Donnatal?

    Take Donnatal one-half hour to 1 hour before meals. Use it exactly as prescribed.
  • What should I avoid while taking Donnatal?

    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.

    Donnatal can decrease sweating; to prevent heat stroke, you should avoid strenuous exercise and high temperatures.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Donnatal?

    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 amitriptyline and imipramine; antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors, including phenelzine and tranylcypromine; antihistamines such as diphenhydramine; antispasmodic drugs such as dicyclomine; barbiturates such as secobarbital; blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin; diarrhea medications containing attapulgite; digitalis; narcotics such as oxycodone; potassium; steroids such as methylprednisolone and prednisone; and tranquilizers such as diazepam.

  • What are the possible side effects of Donnatal?

    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

  • Can I receive Donnatal if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Donnatal during pregnancy and breastfeeding have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, tell your doctor immediately.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Donnatal?

    If you miss a dose of this drug, skip it. Do not take an extra dose to make up for missed doses.
  • How should I store Donnatal?

    Store at room temperature and protect from light.