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Pentothal (Thiopental Sodium) - Drug Interactions, Contraindications, Overdosage, etc



PENTOTHAL drug label information in our database does not contain a dedicated section on drug interactions. Please check subsections of WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS as well as other sources.


Overdosage may occur from too rapid or repeated injections. Too rapid injection may be followed by an alarming fall in blood pressure even to shock levels. Apnea, occasional laryngospasm, coughing and other respiratory difficulties with excessive or too rapid injections may occur. In the event of suspected or apparent overdosage, the drug should be discontinued, a patent airway established (intubate if necessary) or maintained, and oxygen should be administered, with assisted ventilation if necessary. The lethal dose of barbiturates varies and cannot be stated with certainty. Lethal blood levels may be as low as 1 mg/100 mL for short-acting barbiturates; less if other depressant drugs or alcohol are also present.


It is generally agreed that respiratory depression or arrest due to unusual sensitivity to thiopental sodium or overdosage is easily managed if there is no concomitant respiratory obstruction. If the airway is patent, any method of ventilating the lungs (that prevents hypoxia) should be successful in maintaining other vital functions. Since depression of respiratory activity is one of the characteristic actions of the drug, it is important to observe respiration closely.

Should laryngeal spasm occur, it may be relieved by one of the usual methods, such as the use of a relaxant drug or positive pressure oxygen. Endotracheal intubation may be indicated in difficult cases.


Absolute Contraindications:

(1) Absence of suitable veins for intravenous administration, (2) hypersensitivity (allergy) to barbiturates and (3) variegate porphyria (South African) or acute intermittent porphyria.

Relative Contraindications:

(1) Severe cardiovascular disease, (2) hypotension or shock, (3) conditions in which the hypnotic effect may be prolonged or potentiated — excessive premedication, Addison's disease, hepatic or renal dysfunction, myxedema, increased blood urea, severe anemia, asthma, myasthenia gravis, and (4) status asthmaticus.


Thiopental sodium is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance.


None known.

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