Pentobarbital is a drug that is classified in the barbiturate family. It is used as a preanesthetic, a sedative, and in cases of emergency, is administered to manage seizures. Banyan’s Texas treatment center explores the uses of pentobarbital and its side effects.
Because it is classified as a barbiturate, pentobarbital is typically utilized as a sedative. Commonly applied in bouts of convulsions, smaller doses may be administered to treat patients suffering from insomnia. Pentobarbital can also act as a preanesthetic for surgeries and manage pressure in the brain.
It is administered through a muscle injection or an IV. Previously it was distributed by Abbott Pharmaceuticals in pill form, which was discontinued in 1999. The drug can be addictive and was abused in past years, dubbing the nickname “yellow jackets” on the street. This was due to the yellow-colored capsule form of the substance distributed by dealers.
With its sedative effects, it is used in cases of euthanasia for both human and non-human patients. Veterinarians began using the drug as an anesthetic agent in 1931. Despite being antiquated by other drugs, it remains useful to control seizures and sedate the animals if needed. Today, it is much more commonly used in cases of euthanasia for humans and animals.
There is a large range of possible side effects from the usage of pentobarbital, including:
Pentobarbital can also be dangerous in the realm of reproductive care. If a pregnant woman uses the drug, the baby can be born with dangerous withdrawal issues, requiring weeks of medical care. It can also have a negative effect on birth control pills, decreasing their effectiveness. If a woman is taking birth control pills and is given pentobarbital, her doctor can suggest non-hormonal contraceptive options.
Being that the drug is used for euthanasia and even in cases of capital punishment, it is likely that an overdose of pentobarbital will cause several issues to a person’s awareness and bodily functions. This is more likely if the medication is distributed illegally, considering it is professionally administered via IV but typically sold in pill form on the streets. If a lethal dose is ingested, respiratory and cardiovascular functions will begin to slow and can progress into a coma and even death.
Should you or someone you know need to safely withdraw from a substance like pentobarbital, our rehab in Texas houses a variety of Detox program options.
Addiction is possible with any substance. Regardless of how hard to get the drug may be, that does not mean the risk isn’t still there. Pentobarbital side effects have the potential to be extremely dangerous if the drug gets into the wrong hands. Considering its past function as an accessory to processes like euthanasia, one should never assume that it is safe to use outside of a doctor’s instructions.