Nembutal

DRUG DESCRIPTION

The barbiturates are nonselective central nervous system depressants which are primarily used as sedative hypnotics and also anticonvulsants in subhypnotic doses. The barbiturates and their sodium salts are subject to control under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (See "Drug Abuse and Dependence" section).

The sodium salts of amobarbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, and secobarbital are available as sterile parenteral solutions.

Barbiturates are substituted pyrimidine derivatives in which the basic structure common to these drugs is barbituric acid, a substance which has no central nervous system (CNS) activity. CNS activity is obtained by substituting alkyl, alkenyl, or aryl groups on the pyrimidine ring.

NEMBUTAL Sodium Solution (pentobarbital sodium injection) is a sterile solution for intravenous or intramuscular injection. Each mL contains pentobarbital sodium 50 mg, in a vehicle of propylene glycol, 40%, alcohol, 10% and water for injection, to volume. The pH is adjusted to approximately 9.5 with hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide.

NEMBUTAL (pentobarbital) Sodium is a short-acting barbiturate, chemically designated as sodium 5-ethyl-5-(1-methylbutyl) barbiturate. The structural formula for pentobarbital sodium is:

NEMBUTAL® (Pentobarbital Sodium) Structural Formula Illustration

The sodium salt occurs as a white, slightly bitter powder which is freely soluble in water and alcohol but practically insoluble in benzene and ether.

What are the possible side effects of pentobarbital (Nembutal Sodium)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • confusion, hallucinations;
  • weak or shallow breathing;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse; or
  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • problems with memory or concentration;
  • excitement,...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Nembutal »


Nembutal Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Nembutal Sodium

Generic Name: pentobarbital (Pronunciation: PEN toe BAR bi tal)

  • What is pentobarbital (Nembutal)?
  • What are the possible side effects of pentobarbital (Nembutal)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about pentobarbital (Nembutal)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using pentobarbital (Nembutal)?
  • How should I take pentobarbital (Nembutal)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Nembutal)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Nembutal)?
  • What should I avoid while taking pentobarbital (Nembutal)?
  • What other drugs will affect pentobarbital (Nembutal)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is pentobarbital (Nembutal)?

Pentobarbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates (bar-BIT-chur-ates). Pentobarbital slows the activity of your brain and nervous system.

Pentobarbital is used short-term to treat insomnia. Pentobarbital is also used as an emergency treatment for seizures, and to cause you to fall asleep for surgery.

Pentobarbital may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of pentobarbital (Nembutal)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • confusion, hallucinations;
  • weak or shallow breathing;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse; or
  • feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • problems with memory or concentration;
  • excitement, irritability, aggression, or confusion (especially in children or older adults);
  • loss of balance or coordination;
  • nightmares;
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation;
  • headache; or
  • "hangover" effect (drowsiness the day after a dose).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about pentobarbital (Nembutal)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to pentobarbital, or if you have porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).

Before using pentobarbital, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, chronic pain, severe or uncontrolled asthma or COPD, a history of mental illness or suicide attempt, or a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Pentobarbital may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Pentobarbital should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Pentobarbital can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol can also add to sleepiness caused by pentobarbital.

Pentobarbital can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while using pentobarbital.

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