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Pentobarbital (Nembutal): Drug Basics and Frequently Asked Questions

Pentobarbital (Nembutal) may cause serious health problems. The risk is more severe for certain groups. If you are concerned discuss with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss other options

Habits form

Pentobarbital (Nembutal) is classified as a restricted substance (schedule II) as it carries the potential for dependency and abuse. Abuse happens when a medicine is prescribed for non-medical purposes to produce desired physical or emotional effects, like feelings of euphoria (extreme satisfaction). Dependence can happen when you are taking a drug for a specific amount of time, and then you become dependent on it in order to function normally. When you develop dependence, if you quit taking the medication abruptly and experience unpleasant withdrawal signs (e.g. nausea or vomiting, restlessness difficulty sleeping, anxiety hallucinations, seizures). Your physician will keep track of the dosage and gradually reduce it until you stop completely taking the medication if it is needed. Because pentobarbital (Nembutal) is prescribed in hospitals and is administered by a doctor, your physician will be able check on your condition frequently to ensure that the possibility that the medication will become habit-forming is minimal.

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Trouble breathing

The injection of pentobarbital (Nembutal) too quickly in the vein may result in serious adverse effects, like lower blood pressure and slow breathing. Your physician will calculate the proper dose and rate of pentobarbital (Nembutal) will be administered to you. They’ll be watching you as you’re taking the drug to ensure there aren’t any severe adverse effects. Your physician will assist you immediately when they observe you’re having difficulties breathing after receiving pentobarbital (Nembutal).

Paradoxal (opposite) reactions

Certain people who take pentobarbital (Nembutal) may trigger paradoxical reactions (opposite effects to what you’d think). Instead of feeling relaxed or calm, this drug may cause individuals to feel anxious, stressed or even overwhelmed. This is common in elderly, weak individuals, or when you suffer from chronic or short-term discomfort. Inform your doctor if you suffer from long- or short-term discomfort so that they can follow you better.

Harm to babies born unborn

Pentobarbital (Nembutal) could cause harm to babies who are not yet born when administered to females who are pregnant. Babies born today may suffer withdrawal symptoms if their mother took this medication in the 3rd trimester. Inform your healthcare provider that you’re expecting before taking pentobarbital (Nembutal) to examine if there are better alternatives.
Breathing is sluggish and sleepy

Risk factors: taking pentobarbital (Nembutal) along with other medications that induce sleepiness or slow breathing. Also, alcohol use

Pentobarbital (Nembutal) can cause you feel tired. When you take pentobarbital (Nembutal) in conjunction with consumption of alcohol or other medications that cause sleepiness including sedatives and opioids, may cause the sleepiness to become more intense. Additionally when you combine alcohol or drugs that reduce your body’s metabolism (central nerve system depressants) can cause a slower breathing that could be life-threatening. Inform your doctor about the various medications you’re taking to examine for potential interactions.