Papers And Originals

Controlled Trial of Phetharbital, a Non-hypnotic Barbiturate, in Unconjugated Hyperbilirubinaemia

Br Med J 1971; 2 doi: (Published 29 May 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;2:497
  1. John Hunter,
  2. R. P. H. Thompson,
  3. M. O. Rake,
  4. Roger Williams


    Eleven patients with mild unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia (Gilbert's syndrome) took part in a double-blind cross-over trial of phenobarbitone and phetharbital, a non-hypnotic barbiturate. Significant reductions in plasma bilirubin were observed with both drugs, but six patients complained of sleepiness on phenobarbitone, and phetharbital was preferred by most patients. Phetharbital was also effective in the rare severe unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia of the Crigler-Najjar syndrome (Type 2). Symptoms attributed to Gilbert's syndrome, including nausea and abdominal pain, were less consistently relieved.