thiopental

Pronunciation: THYE oh PEN tal

Brand: Pentothal

What is the most important information I should know about thiopental?

Multum donot

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).

Multum noalcohol

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

Multum dizzy

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.

What is thiopental?

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 should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive thiopental?

Multum donot

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.

Multum nopreg

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

Multum nobrfeed

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?

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.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since thiopental is usually given just for anesthesia, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of thiopental is unlikely to occur since the medication is given by a doctor. Your vital signs will be closely watched while you are under anesthesia to make sure the medication is not causing any harmful effects.

What should I avoid after receiving thiopental?

Multum noalcohol

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

Multum dizzy

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.

What are the possible side effects of thiopental?

Multum emt

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

Multum emt

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

Less serious side effects may include:

  • coughing;
  • sneezing; or
  • hiccups.

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 other drugs will affect thiopental?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • blood pressure medication; or
  • a diuretic (water pill).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with thiopental. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about thiopental.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision date: 12/15/2010.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.