Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, an India-based company now predominantly owned by the Japanese company Daiichi Sankyo, obtained the rights to market and to use the trade name "Seconal" from Eli Lilly in 1998, and did so until September 18, 2008. The actual manufacturer of Seconal subsequent to the time Eli Lilly manufactured the drug is Ohm Pharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ranbaxy. The rights to market Seconal were then sold to Marathon Pharmaceuticals, the current marketer / trade-name holder. However, Seconal is still manufactured by Ohm. Marathon has significantly raised the Average Wholesale Price ("AWP") of Seconal. This is noteworthy because of degree. As of August 2012, the AWP of Seconal is almost fifteen times that of what it was when Ranbaxy held the trade name, and roughly one hundred fifty times that of what it was in 1982. In the United States, Seconal is available only in 100 mg. capsules, as a sodiumsalt. The salt is a white hygroscopic powder that is soluble in water and ethanol.
Secobarbital was widely misused in the 1960s and 1970s, and accidental overdose was associated with the drug. It was linked with the death of Judy Garland where the postmortem found that her blood contained the equivalent of ten 1.5-grain (97 mg) Seconal capsules. Consequently, prescription of Seconal decreased greatly beginning in the early 1980s, by which time benzodiazepines had become increasingly common. Secobarbital has acquired many nicknames, the most common being reds, "red devils", or "red dillies" (because of the color of the capsules). Other common nicknames are "seccies"  and, according to the Wegman's School of Pharmacy curriculum, "red hearts." A less common nickname is "dolls"; this was partly responsible for the title of Jacqueline Susann's novel Valley of the Dolls, whose main characters use secobarbital and other such drugs.
Secobarbital overdose was the most common method of implementing physician assisted suicide in Oregon for many years. Subsequently, pentobarbital has dominated in Oregon PAD. Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited previously experienced various issues in their attempts to produce 100 mg secobarbital capsules. Currently, Marathon Pharmaceuticals is the sole marketer of the drug in the United States, although the drug remains manufactured by Ohm Laboratories.