Nembutal or Pentobarbital, also known as pentobarbitone, is a short-acting barbiturate. Nembutal is available in liquid, powder and tablets.


What is Nembutal?
Nembutal or Pentobarbital, also known as pentobarbitone, is a short-acting barbiturate. In high doses, pentobarbital causes death by respiratory arrest. In the United States, the drug has been used for executions of convicted criminals. The Formula is C11H18N2O3.

Nembutal is available in liquid, powder and tablets.

Pentobarbital, the trade name is Nembutal is a drug from the barbiturate class. It was widely used during the early times as a sleeping pill, i.e. hypnotic or anti-anxiety drug i.e. sedative.

Uses of Nembutal
The major uses of Nembutal are as a short-term treatment for insomnia (most often used to help people fall asleep but not as useful in helping people stay asleep), in the treatment of anxiety, as an anticonvulsant in emergency situations, and as a preanesthetic prior to surgery. The drug has also been used to reduce pressure within the skull in cases of traumatic brain injury and as a euthanasia drug for both animals and humans, including use in state executions of criminals. Any drug that can be used to euthanize animals or people is obviously potentially dangerous in high doses.

Effects of Nembutal Abuse and the Abuse of Nembutal can result in:

Similar effects that occur with intoxication to alcohol, such as slow and slurred speech; problems with motor coordination; a shuffling or staggering gate; problems with balance; decreases in breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature; slowed rate of thought; problems with reasoning and logic; aggression; sedation and lethargy; and unconsciousness and/or coma.

The development of physical dependence (having both tolerance and withdrawal).

The development of a sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder, a specific substance use disorder identified in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Long-term effects that can include significant issues with one’s respiratory system (as a result of chronic respiratory suppression), cardiovascular system, and liver as well as and potential damage to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).

Damage to the brain that can result in cognitive problems, such as issues with attention, memory, and reasoning, or the development of long-term emotional issues, including depression, anxiety, and even psychosis.

Significant problems in one’s personal life, including issues at work, in school, with relationships, etc.

Potential overdose, which can be fatal.

Overdose and Withdrawal of Nembutal
An overdose of Nembutal can be fatal due to the drug’s ability to shut down areas of the brain that control breathing and heart rate. Individuals can fall into a coma and die, or they may survive but develop severe brain damage as a result of decreased oxygen to important areas of the brain.

Those who overdose on Nembutal often become very lethargic and confused, display significantly decreased breathing, and may become unconscious or comatose. Remember that Nembutal has been used to euthanize animals and even people. An overdose of Nembutal would have the same effects as the dose used for euthanasia.

When individuals mix central nervous system depressant drugs like barbiturates and benzodiazepines or barbiturates like Nembutal with alcohol, they are enhancing the suppressing effects of these drugs on the central nervous system. This makes overdose far more likely; hence, combining central nervous system depressant drugs is extremely dangerous.

Likewise, the withdrawal syndrome from drugs like Nembutal can be very dangerous due to the potential development of delirium tremens (DTs), similar to the DTs that can occur from alcohol withdrawal. It consists of severe confusion, hallucinations (most often, visual), tremors, and the potential for seizures. The seizures that can occur as a result of barbiturate withdrawal can be fatal.

Individuals who have chronically abused Nembutal will need to be monitored by a physician and placed on a physician-assisted withdrawal management protocol. This typically involves the administration of a longer-acting barbiturate or benzodiazepine in a dose sufficient enough to control any withdrawal symptoms, and then slowly tapering down the dose periodically to allow the person to slowly become accustomed to functioning on lower doses of the drug without experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms. Eventually, once the dose is small enough, the drug can be totally discontinued.

Recovery after Withdrawal of Nembutal
Simply getting through the withdrawal period from Nembutal is not sufficient for recovery. Individuals who do not get involved in an aftercare program, which is a professional organized substance use disorder recovery program following withdrawal management, will inevitably relapse. Even individuals who get involved in a recovery program relapse at relatively high rates, but these individuals will be prepared to deal with relapse, make corrections to their plans of recovery, and move forward.


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