25.03 Pentobarbital (Nembutal)

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Generic Name


Trade/Brand Name



  • Short term management of insomnia
  • Anesthesia
  • Emergency treatment of seizures


  • Depress sensory cortex, motor activity
  • Alters cerebellar function
  • Produces drowsiness, sedation, hypnosis

Therapeutic Class

  • Sedative
  • Hypnotic
  • Anticonvulsant

Pharmacologic Class

Short-acting barbiturate

Nursing Considerations

  • High doses can cause death
  • Contraindicated
    • Hypersensitivity
    • Porphyria
  • Monitor
    • Hemodynamics
      • Respiratory status
      • Mechanical ventilation
  • Avoid use in geriatric patients
  • Use caution
    • Depression
    • Hepatic impairment
    • Renal impairment

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