Pentobarbital - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Pentobarbital is a drug used in the treatment of severe insomnia. The use of this drug will be combined with other therapies and sleep hygiene. This drug should not be used in the long term and must be according to a doctor's prescription.

Pentobarbital belongs to the barbiturate group. This drug works by inhibiting and slowing the work and activity of the central nervous system, causing drowsiness.

In addition to treating insomnia, pentobarbital can also be used to relieve severe seizures, in status epilepticus and as a drug that triggers a temporary loss of consciousness (sedation) before surgical procedures.

Pentobarbital trademark: -

What is Pentobarbital

groupPrescription drugs
BenefitTreat insomnia, be sedative before surgery, and relieve seizures
Used byAdults and children
Pentobarbital for pregnant and lactating womenCategory D: There is positive evidence of risks to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example in dealing with life-threatening situations.

Pentobarbital content can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine before consulting your doctor.

Drug formTablets, injections and suppositories

Precautions Before Using Pentobarbital

Pentobarbital should not be used carelessly and must be in accordance with a doctor's prescription. There are several things that must be considered before using pentobarbital, namely:

  • Tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Pentobarbital should not be used by patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have porphyria or a severe respiratory disorder. Pentobarbital should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you have depression, chronic severe pain, liver disease, kidney disease, hypertension, hypotension, or pulmonary disease.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness after taking pentobarbital, as this medicine may cause drowsiness and dizziness.
  • Follow your doctor's advice before, during, and after using pentobarbital. Carry out regular check-ups according to the schedule given by the doctor so that your condition can be monitored.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain supplements, herbal products, or medications.
  • See your doctor right away if you experience an allergic drug reaction, serious side effect, or overdose, after using pentobarbital.

Dosage and Rules for Use of Pentobarbital

The dose of pentobarbital will be adjusted according to the patient's age, condition, and response to the drug. The following are common doses of pentobarbital based on the purpose of treatment:

Purpose: Treat severe insomnia

Shape: Tablet

  • Mature: 100–200 mg taken before bedtime.

Shape: Suppositories

  • Mature: 120–200 mg.
  • Children aged 12–14 years: 60 mg or 120 mg.
  • Children aged 5–12 years: 60 mg.
  • Children aged 2–4 years: 30 mg or 60 mg.
  • Children aged 2–12 months: 30 mg.

Purpose: Trigger sedation effect

Shape: Tablet

  • Mature: 20–40 mg, 2–4 times daily.
  • Children: 2–6 mg/kgBW divided into 3 usage schedules. The maximum dose is 100 mg per day.

Pentobarbital is also available in the form of an injection that will be given directly by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

How to Use Pentobarbital Correctly

Injectable pentobarbital will be given by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor. This medicine can be given by injection into a vein or into a muscle.

Pentobarbital in tablet form needs to be taken as directed by a doctor. Swallow the pentobarbital tablet whole. Do not split, bite, or crush the medicine before swallowing.

Meanwhile, if you use pentobarbital in the form of a suppository, you will need to insert the drug into the anus. Be sure to wash your hands before and after using the medicine. Rinse the medication with water and then push the medication into your anus while you are lying on your side.

Do not reduce or increase the dose of pentobarbital taken or used because it can increase the risk of drug dependence.

If you forget to take pentobarbital, take the missed dose as soon as the interval between the next scheduled use is not too close. If it is close, ignore the dose and do not double the dose.

Do not stop taking pentobarbital suddenly if you have been using it for a long time. Consult your doctor before stopping the drug, because stopping pentobarbital suddenly can increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

While undergoing treatment with pentobarbital, perform a health examination according to the schedule given by the doctor. Regular health checks are carried out to monitor your condition and response to medications.

Store pentobarbital in a dry and cool place. Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

Pentobarbital Interactions with Other Drugs

There are several drug interactions that can occur when pentobarbital is used with certain medications, including:

  • Decreased blood levels of valproic acid, carbamazepine or phenytoin
  • Decreased levels and effectiveness of birth control pills and anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin
  • Increased fatal side effects, such as severe respiratory distress, coma, and even death, when used with opioid drugs, such as alfentanil or buprenorphine
  • Increased blood levels of pentobarbital when used with monoamine oxidase inhibitors(MAOI), such as phenelzine
  • Increased risk of potentially fatal side effects when used with sodium oxybate

Pentobarbital Side Effects and Dangers

There are several side effects that can occur after the use of pentobarbital, namely:

  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping which actually makes it worse
  • Nightmare
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Loss of balance or body coordination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Faint
  • Hallucinations, nervousness, or confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Pain or swelling at the injection area

Check with your doctor if you experience these side effects. Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to any medication after taking pentobarbital.