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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Brevital Sodium

Generic Name: methohexital (Pronunciation: METH oh HEX i tal)

What is methohexital (Brevital Sodium)?

Methohexital is in a group of drugs called barbiturates (bar-BIT-chur-ates). Methohexital slows the activity of your brain and nervous system.

Methohexital is used to make you fall asleep before a surgery or other medical procedure. It is usually given in combination with other types of anesthesia.

Methohexital may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of methohexital (Brevital Sodium)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe burning or swelling where the medicine was injected;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • fast heart rate;
  • weak or shallow breathing; or
  • confusion, anxiety, or restless feeling when coming out of anesthesia.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • chills or shivering;
  • coughing, hiccups;
  • muscle twitching; or
  • mild skin rash or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about methohexital (Brevital Sodium)?

You should not receive this medication if you have porphyria, or if you have ever had any complications from general anesthesia.

Before receiving methohexital, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have a seizure disorder, asthma or COPD, anemia, an endocrine disorder, liver disease, high or low blood pressure, heart disease, congestive heart failure, or circulation problems.

Tell your doctor about all medications you use, especially phenytoin (Dilantin), a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), or steroids such as prednisone, fluticasone (Advair), mometasone (Asmanex, Nasonex), dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol) and others.

Methohexital can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving for 8 to 12 hours after receiving methohexital, or doing anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Drowsiness may last for several hours. You will need someone to drive you home from after you receive methohexital.

Avoid drinking alcohol just after receiving methohexital.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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