If you are familiar with barbiturates, then you have probably come across the name pentobarbital. A barbiturate works by slowing down the activities of the nervous system and the brain.
People use pentobarbital pills as a short-term sedative to treat insomnia and cause you to fall asleep during surgery. You can also use pentobarbital as an emergency treatment for seizures. There are also other pentobarbital uses not listed here.
Some crucial information to note
Never use pentobarbital pills if you have a history of porphyria. Porphyria is a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the central nervous system and the skin.
Never use this drug if you are allergic to pentobarbital or any other barbiturate.
To ensure pentobarbital is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have the following:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Chronic or temporary pain
A history of addiction to barbiturates or other CNS suppressants
You should know that using pentobarbital while pregnant could harm the unborn child. Using pentobarbital during pregnancy makes the baby to be dependent on the drug. This can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after birth. Such babies might require medical treatment for a few weeks. Always notify your doctor that you are pregnant or you are planning to get pregnant before starting pentobarbital treatment.
Pentobarbital can also make birth control pills less effective. Consult with your doctor about using non-hormonal methods such as condoms to prevent pregnancy.
Sedatives that doctors use during surgery might affect brain development in kids below three or in an unborn baby, whose mother is taking pentobarbital during pregnancy. The effects might be severe if you use the drug repeatedly. Brain development effects could cause behavior or learning problems later in life.
Animal studies have also shown negative brain effects because of anesthesia. However, studies in human kids taking single short uses of anesthesia have not demonstrated any likely effect on learning or behavior. There is need for more research.
In some instances, a doctor might decide to postpone a surgery based on such risks. There may be a delay in treatment in the case of life-threatening conditions, surgery, medical emergencies required to correct certain birth defects.
It is wise to ask the health practitioner for information about all drugs that he or she will use during your surgery and how long the surgery will last.
Note that pentobarbital can pass into breast milk and might harm a nursing baby. Notify your doctor if you are nursing a baby.
What are some of the pentobarbital side effects?
You should get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of lips, face, throat, or tongue.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience:
- Agitation, confusion, hallucinations
- Shallow or weak breathing
- Slow heart rate or a weak pulse
- Feeling of a light head, as if you want to pass out
- Side effects like depression, confusion, or excitement might be more likely in senior citizens and people who are debilitated or ill
Other common side effects might include
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Vomiting, nausea or constipation
- Overactive reflexes
- Sleep issues such as insomnia and nightmares
- Feeling excited or restless especially in kids and senior adults
Remember this is not a complete list of side effects. You might experience others. You should call your doctor for professional advice about side effects.
Are there drugs that might affect pentobarbital?
It is not advisable to use pentobarbital with other drugs that slow down your breathing or those that make you sleepy. These drugs can have life-threatening or dangerous side effects. Always consult with your doctor before taking a narcotic pain drug, sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, any cough drug, or any drug for depression, anxiety, or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all other drugs you use especially the following medications:
- Any birth control drugs or hormone replacement drugs
- Aby blood thinner such as Coumadin or warfarin
- An MAO inhibitor such as methylene, linezolid, blue injection, and others
- Other seizure drugs such as divalproex
- Steroid drugs such as dexamethasone
Note that this is not a complete list. Other drugs might interact with pentobarbital including over the counter vitamins, herbal products and other medications.
What happens in case of a missed dose?
Doctors prescribe pentobarbital only if need be. Because of this, patients might not be on a dosing schedule. However, if you are on a scheduled, take the missed dose immediately you remember. You should skip the dose if it is almost time for your scheduled dose. Never take extra medication to make up for the missed dose.
What will happen if you overdose?
You should seek emergency if you think you have taken pentobarbital in excess. As we said before, overdosing on any barbiturate can be detrimental to your health. In fact, most people have died because of overdosing on these drugs.
Some of the overdose symptoms might include limp or weak feeling, extreme drowsiness, and shallow or slow breathing, rapid heart rate, weak pulse, less or no urination, dilated pupils, fainting or feeling cold. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice these symptoms after taking pentobarbital.
Things to avoid while under pentobarbital treatment
It is worth noting that pentobarbital can cause side effects that might impair your reactions or thinking. Be careful if you are performing a task that requires you to stay alert and awake such as driving.
Avoid alcoholic drinks. Severe side effects occur if you take pentobarbital and alcohol.
- You should always keep Pentobarbital away from kids.
- You should not share the drug with others.
- Use pentobarbital only for the prescribed indication.
- Always talk to a doctor to make sure the information on the prescription label applies to your personal issues.
Can you purchase pentobarbital pills online?
Yes, you can purchase pentobarbital pills online. However, you have to be very careful when doing so. Do a proper research to ensure that you are purchasing from a legitimate buyer.