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Sounds Like: pinto.bar.beh.tall

Classification: Barbiturate

Controlled Substance Act Schedule: II & III

Other names for Pentobarbital

  • Yellow jackets
  • Nembutal

Pentobarbital Addiction

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant. Commonly used as a sedative, it can also be used as a pre-anesthetic in surgery situations. It can be used to treat seizures and induce comas. As a drug that has a short half-life and fast blood-brain barrier penetration, it makes it a drug of choice for a variety of needs for short-term use.

Pentobarbital can also be used to treat cranial trauma issues. Some states in the US use it for capital punishment, but this use remains controversial with some manufacturers refusing to sell it to prisons for such use. Some veterinarians use it for euthanasia in animals.

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Intended Use of Pentobarbital

It can treat tension, anxiety, nervousness, and trouble falling asleep (insomnia). It can help patients relax before surgery or medical procedures. In addition, it can treat epilepsy and other seizures.

How Pentobarbital Is Taken

The drug can be adminstered through injection, IV, or pill form. For injection uses, it is advised to inject no more than 5 ml and only into a large muscle to avoid tissue irritation or necrosis. IV use is not to exceed 50 mg/minute and should only be given by slow IV injection in the undiluted form. Rapid IV injection can result in respiratory depression, hypotension, and bronchospasm, among other adverse effects. Nembutal, the brand version of pentobarbital, is taken either as an injection or in a pill form.

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Side Effects of

As a central nervous system depressant, pentobarbital depresses the sensory cortex, decreases motor activity, alters cerebellar function, and produces drowsiness, sedation, and hypnosis.

Signs of an
Addiction to Pentobarbital

Pentobarbital can be habit-forming when dosing is left unchecked. If overdosed, respiratory arrest can occur and may be fatal. The pill form was heavily used for many years by those abusing “yellow jackets,” a colloquialism referring to the appearance of the 50/100 mg pill form. When abused, Pentobarbital can produce the following symptoms:

Unsteady gait

Slurred speech


Poor judgement




Muscle twitching




Visual distortions




Abuse Facts

Aside from being a popular execution drug in prisons, pentobarbital is used in some countries for physician-assisted suicide.

Those addicted to the pill form use it non-medically for its depressant properties.