Generic Name: pentobarbital, Parenteral Solution

Nembutal

All Brands

  • Nembutal
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for pentobarbital

Parenteral Solution
1
PENTOBARBITAL (pen toe BAR bi tal) is a barbiturate. It is a sedative that is used to treat sleeping problems. It is used before surgery to induce sleep. It is also used to treat seizures in an emergency.
2 3 4
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these conditions.
5
Know what to watch for and get tips for reducing your risks while taking this drug.
SECTION 2 of 4

pentobarbital Side Effects

Parenteral Solution

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • confusion
  • depression
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • fever, sore throat
  • hallucinations
  • pain at site where injected
  • problems with balance, talking, walking
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • slow heartbeat
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • worsening of mood, thoughts or actions of suicide or dying
  • yellowing of skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • drowsy
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • trouble sleeping, nightmares
SECTION 3 of 4

pentobarbital May Interact with Other Medications

Parenteral Solution

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • voriconazole

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
  • cyclosporine
  • doxycycline
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
  • griseofulvin
  • imatinib
  • kava kava
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for seizures
  • medicines for sleep
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic medicines for pain
  • other barbiturates
  • primidone
  • quinidine
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
  • valerian
  • warfarin
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
SECTION 4 of 4

How to Use pentobarbital

Parenteral Solution

This medicine is for injection into a muscle or a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • depression
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma
  • porphyria
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to pentobarbital, other barbiturates, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding
What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

The use of this medicine may increase the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay special attention to how you are responding while on this medicine. Any worsening of mood, or thoughts of suicide or dying should be reported to your health care professional right away.

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

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Last Updated: July 21, 2009

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