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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Pentothal

Generic Name: thiopental (Pronunciation: THYE oh PEN tal)

What is thiopental (Pentothal)?

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

Thiopental is used to help you relax before you receive general anesthesia with an inhaled medication.

Thiopental may be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of thiopental (Pentothal)?

You will remain under constant supervision during treatment with thiopental. Your caregivers will watch for any serious side effects.

Tell your caregivers at once if you feel severe pain while receiving this medication.

Less serious side effects may include:

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 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).

You also should not receive thiopental if you have liver disease, Addison's disease, a 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).

Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after you leave the hospital or surgery center.

Thiopental can cause severe drowsiness or dizziness, which may last for several hours. You will need someone to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert for at least 24 hours.

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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