Pentobarbital (previously known as pentobarbitone in Britain and Australia) is a short-acting barbiturate typically used as a sedative, a preanesthetic, and to control convulsions in emergencies. It can also be used for short-term treatment of insomnia but has been largely replaced by the benzodiazepine family of drugs.

In high doses, pentobarbital causes death by respiratory arrest. It is used for veterinary euthanasia and is used by some U.S. states and the U.S. federal government for executions of convicted criminals. In some countries and states, it is also used for physician-assisted suicide.

Pentobarbital was widely abused and sometimes known as “yellow jackets” due to the yellow capsule of the Nembutal brand. Pentobarbital in oral (pill) form is no longer commercially available

What is Pentobarbital and how is it used ?

Nembutal (pentobarbital sodium) is a barbiturate that acts as a depressant, or sedative, use short-term to treat insomnia. Nembutal is also use as an emergency treatment for seizures, and to cause patients to fall asleep for surgery. Nembutal is available in generic form.

How is Pentobarbital Used ?

We can categories how pentobarbital is been used into three different ways. They include the following;

Medical Purposes

Typical applications for pentobarbital are sedative, short term hypnotic, preanesthetic, insomnia treatment, and control of convulsions in emergencies. Abbott Pharmaceutical discontinued manufacture of their Nembutal brand of Pentobarbital capsules in 1999, largely replace by the benzodiazepine family of drugs. Pentobarbital was also widely abused, known on the street as “yellow jackets”. They were available as 30, 50, and 100-milligram capsules of yellow, white-orange, and yellow colors, respectively.

It is also used as a veterinary anesthetic agent

Pentobarbital also has an application in reducing intracranial pressure in Reye’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury and induction of coma in cerebral ischemia patients. Pentobarbital-induced coma has been advocated in patients with acute liver failure refractory to mannitol.

Euthanasia Purposes

Pentobarbital can cause death when used in high doses. It is use for euthanasia for humans as well as animals. It is also use by itself, or in combination with complementary agents such as phenytoin, in commercial animal euthanasia injectable solutions.

In the Netherlands, it is part of the standard protocol for physician-assisted suicide for self-administration by the patient.

It is also use by mouth for physician-assisted death in the United States states of Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California (as of January, 2016).

The oral dosage of pentobarbital indicated for physician-assisted suicide in Oregon is typically 10 g in liquid form

Execution Purposes

Pentobarbital has been used or considered as a substitute for other drugs previously use for capital punishment in the United States when those drugs are unavailable. Such use however is illegal under Danish law, and when this was discovered, after public outcry in Danish media, Lundbeck, the owner of the drug, stopped selling it to US states that impose the death penalty. US distributors of the drug are forbidden by the owner to sell it to any customers, such as several state authorities, that practice or participate in executions of humans.

Texas began using pentobarbital for executing death-row inmates by lethal injection on July 18, 2012.The use of pentobarbital has been considered by several states, including Ohio, Arizona, Idaho, and Washington; those states made the decision to switch following shortages of pancuronium bromide, a muscle paralytic previously used as one component in a three-drug cocktail.

What Are The Side Effects Of Nembutal Pentobarbital ?

The side effects of pentobarbital (nembutal) can either be common side effects or severe side effects. The common side effects include;

  • Confusion
  • Excitement
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Insomia
  • Nervousness
  • Skin rash
  • Constipation
  • Aggression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of balance

Meanwhile the severe or serious side effects are;

  • Slow heart rate
  • Weak pulse
  • Feeling like passing out
  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • hallucination

Note : Make sure to seek urgent medical attention if you suffer from any of these severe side effects of nembutal ( pentobarbital ).

In October 2013, Missouri changed its protocols to allow for a compounded pentobarbital to be used in a lethal dose for executions and it was first used in November 2013.

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