Nembutal Powder (Pentobarbital) is a short-acting barbiturate typically used as a sedative, a preanesthetic, and to control convulsions in emergencies. It can also be used for short-term treatment of insomnia.
Pentobarbital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates (bar-BIT-chur-ates). Pentobarbital slows the activity of your brain and nervous system.
Uses of Nembutal
- Typical applications for pentobarbital are sedative, short term hypnotic, preanesthetic, insomnia, and control of convulsions in emergencies.
- It is also used as a veterinary anesthetic agent.
- Pentobarbital also has an application in reducing intracranial pressure in Reye’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury and induction of coma in cerebral ischemia patients.
Pentobarbital can cause death when used in high doses. It is used for euthanasia for humans as well as animals. It is also used by itself, or in combination with complementary agents such as phenytoin, in commercial animal euthanasia injectable solutions.
Pentobarbital has been used or considered as a substitute for other drugs traditionally used for capital punishment in the United States when they are in short supply.
Dosage and Administration
Dosages of barbiturates must be individualized with full knowledge of their particular characteristics and recommended rate of administration. Factors of consideration are the patient’s age, weight, and condition. Parenteral routes should be used only when oral administration is impossible or impractical.
A commonly used initial dose for the 70 kg adult is 100 mg. Proportional reduction in dosage should be made for pediatric or debilitated patients. At least one minute is necessary to determine the full effect of intravenous pentobarbital. If necessary, additional small increments of the drug may be given up to a total of from 200 to 500 mg for normal adults.
Side Effects of Use
- In high doses, pentobarbital causes death by respiratory arrest.
- Nembutal will cause possible addictive effects.