Generic Name : PENTOBARBITAL
Pronunciation : (pen toe bar' bi tal)
Trade Name(s) : Nembutal
Why it is prescribed: Pentobarbital, a barbiturate, is used in the short-term treatment of insomnia-to help you fall asleep. It also is used as a sedative to relieve anxiety.
When it is to be taken: Pentobarbital usually is taken at bedtime as needed for insomnia or two to four times a day for anxiety. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand. Do not take pentobarbital for more than two weeks for insomnia.
How it should be taken: Pentobarbital comes in the form of capsules, oral liquid, and suppositories. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose. Take it on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after meals. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon to be sure of an accurate dose of the liquid. To insert a pentobarbital suppository into the rectum, follow these steps:
(1) Remove the wrapper.
(2) Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
(3) Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest.
(4) Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about ½ to 1 inch in infants and children and 1 inch in adults.
(5) Hold it in place for a few moments. You may stand up after about 15 minutes.
(6) Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.
Special Instruction :
1. Because pentobarbital can be habit-forming, do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than as directed. If you accidentally take too much pentobarbital, contact your doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
2. Do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor, especially if you have been taking it for a long time, Your doctor may want to decrease your dose gradually.
3. Pentobarbital causes drowsiness, which may persist until the next day even though you take the drug at bedtime. Do not drive a car or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
4. If you forget to take a dose, do not take a missed dose when you remember it. Omit it completely; then take the next dose at the regularly scheduled time.
Side Effects :
1. Drowsiness, headache, depression, excitement, joint or muscle pain, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, nightmares, increased dreaming. Contact your doctor.
2. Skin rash, itching, sore throat, fever, easy bruising, bloody nose, unusual bleeding, signs of infection. Stop taking the drug and contact your doctor immediately.
Other Precautions :
1. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before taking this drug. If you become pregnant while taking pentobarbital, notify your doctor promptly.
2. Pentobarbital can interact with many drugs. Before you take it, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, including anticoagulants, birth-control pills, antihistamines, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, steroids, and medication for depression or seizures.
3. Before taking pentobarbital, tell your doctor if you are allergic to aspirin or tartrazine.
4. Tell your doctor if you have pain, kidney disease, liver disease, asthma, or severe lung disease.
5. Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol adds to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
6. If you develop severe pain while taking pentobarbital, contact your doctor. 7. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.
Storage Conditions : Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of the reach of children.