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What is Pentobarbital and how to use it

What is Pentobarbital and how to use it

Pentobarbital is one of the most common barbiturates out there. However, if you are not familiar with barbiturates, then there is no need to worry. In this article, we will discuss in detail what is pentobarbital and how to use it.

What is pentobarbital?

Pentobarbital is the brand name for pentobarbital, a short acting barbiturate. It can be used for hypnotic purposes or sedation and can also induce a coma. Additionally, pentobarbital can be recommended as an anticonvulsant in treatment of sleeping disorders or seizure management.

How does pentobarbital work?

It works by changing some levels of the central nervous system and suppressing activities in the respiratory system. In regulated doses, pentobarbital is an anesthetic while in excess doses it can be used to euthanize both animals and humans.

The drug binds to the GABA neurotransmitters in your brain and causes depression of the CNS.

Pentobarbital is administered in two ways; orally or non-oral. The oral pill is not available in the United States but the non-oral form might be added to flavored syrup and administered via the mouth.

Additionally, you can administer the non-oral form via an IV or an intramuscular injection (you inject the drug into a muscle). There are some cases where you administer the drug rectally. Abusers of the drug take it in any of these ways.

Since it is a central nervous system depressant, pentobarbital can cause sedation, drowsiness and a hypnotic state. Because of this, it can be used in a hospital setting before surgery or as a sleeping pill to treat severe insomnia cases.

Pentobarbital can easily result to tolerance. Due to this, experts do not recommend its use in treating insomnia or for any long-term treatment process. However, if you have to use it for insomnia, do not exceed using it for two weeks.

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Possible side effects of pentobarbital

You should get medical help if you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of your tongue, lips, face or throat. Let your doctor know if you experience the following:

  • Agitation, confusion or hallucinations
  • Shallow or weak breathing
  • Weak pulse or slow heart rate
  • Feeling like you might pass out
  • Older adults might get depressed or over excited
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Vomiting, nausea or constipation
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Restlessness

Note that this is not a complete list of side effects and others might occur. Always call your doctor on advice concerning any side effects.

How do you take pentobarbital?

You should follow all the instructions on the prescription label. Never use pentobarbital in higher or smaller dosages or for a longer time than recommended.

Note that pentobarbital can be habit-forming so it should not be shared with another person especially anyone with a history of addiction or drug abuse. You should store pentobarbital somewhere other people cannot access.

If you are injecting pentobarbital, ensure that it’s done by a professional health practitioner. You might be taught how to inject yourself at home. However, never do it if you do not understand how to inject properly. Needles and IV tubing need to be disposed properly.

During injection, administer pentobarbital slowly. Blood pressure, breathing, kidney function, oxygen levels and other crucial signs need to be observed closely when receiving this drug in a hospital.

Never use a pentobarbital dose that has changed colors or if it contains particles.

A disposable needle or syringe should only be used once.

If using pentobarbital for a long period, you might require frequent tests. Additionally, never quit taking this drug abruptly without notifying your doctor. He or she will advise on the best way to quit taking the drug.

Pentobarbital should be stored at room temperature away from heat and moisture and it should never freeze.

Things you need to discuss with your doctor before taking pentobarbital

Never use pentobarbital if you are allergic to the drug or any other barbiturates.

You should also avoid pentobarbital if you have a history of porphyria. This is a genetic enzyme disorder that affects the nervous system and the skin.

To ensure pentobarbital is safe, let your doctor know if you have a kidney disease, a liver disease, chronic or temporary pain or history of addiction to related drugs.

Using pentobarbital when you are pregnant can harm the baby. Using pentobarbital when you are pregnant can make the baby develop dependency on the drug. It can also cause severe withdrawal symptoms after the baby is born. Babies born dependent to a drug might require medical treatment for a while before they get back to normal. Your doctor should know if you are planning to get pregnant or if you are pregnant.

It is worth noting that pentobarbital can affect the effectiveness of birth control pills. You can always adopt non-hormonal methods such as condoms to prevent pregnancy.

Note that sedatives can affect brain development in kids below three years or to unborn babies who their mothers take this drug in the late days of pregnancy. The effects might be more severe when you take the drug frequently or longer.

Animal studies have shown that pentobarbital for anesthesia can cause negative effects on the brain. Additionally, the drug can pass into breast milk thus harming a breastfeeding baby.

It is always important to consult the doctor if you do not understand about anything concerning pentobarbital before use.

Can you overdose on pentobarbital?

Taking pentobarbital in higher doses than recommended can have severe side effects. Just like all barbiturates, you should take it in the correct doses to avoid overdosing. However, if you suspect an overdose, do not hesitate to call your doctor,

Final thoughts

It is worth noting that pentobarbital is illegal in most nations especially if being used as a substance of abuse. We believe we have helped you understand  everything you need to know on what is Pentobarbital and how to use it.