Pentobarbital is an active ingredient from the group of barbiturates, which was formerly administered as a tranquilizer and sleeping pill. Since an overdose is life-threatening and can lead to respiratory and cardiac arrest, pentobarbital is hardly used in human medicine today. Euthanasia organizations use sodium pentobarbital to induce death in critically ill people.
synonymous: Pentobarbitalum PhEur , Pentobarbitalum natricum PhEur , Nembutal sodium , Sodium pentobarbital , Pentobarbital sodium , Pentobarbiton , Nembutal® , NAP
Products – Drug groups barbiturates
Legally, it is one of the narcotics (list b) and is only available with a doctor’s prescription. Pharmacies can order the powder from specialized suppliers.
structure and properties
Nembutal (C 11 H 18 N 2 O 3 , Mr = 226.3 g/mol) occurs as a white, crystalline powder or as colorless crystals. It is odorless with a slightly bitter taste. It is very sparingly soluble in water . On the other hand, the sodium salt pentobarbital sodium , which is most commonly used and otherwise has identical properties, is very easily soluble in water. However, solutions have a short shelf life and should be used immediately. Pentobarbital is a racemate . Barbiturates are derivatives of barbituric acid.
Pentobarbital ( ATC N05CA01 external link ) has sedative , sleep -inducing , anesthetic , and central depressive properties. In high doses, death occurs from respiratory and cardiac arrest. Pentobarbital is a GABA A receptor agonist. The effects are based on the increase in the opening time of the chloride channel on the receptor, which leads to a reduction in neuronal excitability due to an increase in chloride conductivity. Nembutal has a long half-life of between 15 to 50 hours.
Nembutal was used in human medicine in the past, among other things, as a sedative and sleeping pill . Due to the possible undesirable effects and the risk of poisoning, it is no longer commercially available today. An overdose is life-threatening and pentobarbital has therefore often been used for suicide. The most famous pentobarbital overdose victim is Marilyn Monroe, who died at the age of 36 from poisoning with Nembutal® capsules and chloral hydrate.
Euthanasia organizations use an aqueous solution of 15 g sodium nembutal to induce death in seriously ill people (assisted suicide). Beforehand, an anti-nausea drug is administered, e.g. metoclopramide. If swallowing is not possible, it can also be given directly into the stomach with a tube. A solution with excipients can also be prepared to improve the taste.
See also under Euthanasia Drugs .
You can also refer to the following articles for detailed information:
thiopental , secobarbital