We Have Beds Available! Call for Same Day Admission.855-722-6926
We Have Beds Available! Call For Same Day Admission. 855-722-6926

Pentobarbital Side Effects

Pentobarbital Side Effects

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. 

What Is Pentobarbital Used For 

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.  

Pentobarbital for Dogs 

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. 

Side Effects of Pentobarbital 

There is a large range of possible side effects from the usage of pentobarbital, including: 

  • Agitation 
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Fainting 
  • Dizziness 
  • Loss of coordination 
  • Vomiting 
  • Memory loss 
  • Constipation 
  • Sleep apnea  
  • Uncontrollable reflexes 
  • Shallow breathing 

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.  

Pentobarbital Overdose  

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. 

Help for Pentobarbital Use 

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. 

If you or someone you know is in need of help, Banyan’s collection of Texas treatment services is extensive and available. Visit our website or call 888-280-4763 for more information.  


Related Reading 

How Drugs Affect Dreams 

The Dangers of Pregnancy and Addiction 


Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.