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thiopental (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive thiopental (Pentothal)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to thiopental or other barbiturates such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton), or if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • Addison's disease;
  • severe thyroid disorder (myxedema);
  • severe heart disease;
  • severe low blood pressure;
  • a severe breathing disorder; or
  • a history of porphyria (an enzyme disorder that often causes blue discoloration of the skin).

Tell your doctor if you have any of the conditions listed above.

FDA pregnancy category C. Thiopental may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before you receive this medication.

Thiopental can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is thiopental given (Pentothal)?

Thiopental is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a hospital or surgical setting.

You will be given this medication while you are lying down. You will fall asleep very quickly after thiopental is injected.

Your caregivers will monitor your heart function, blood pressure, and breathing while you are under the effects of thiopental.

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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