Nembutal – FAQ

Likely one of the most frightening and less-known drugs that can be abused is Nembutal. A simple search by name on the internet shows results with the words “suicide,” “end-of-life,” and “death in a bottle” in the titles or descriptions.

Nembutal (pentobarbital sodium) is a prescription barbiturate drug that has been on the market since the late 19th century. Because it works on the central nervous system (CNS) to slow the brain and voluntary bodily functions, it is usually used for the treatment of seizures and insomnia. It is also frequently used prior to surgery as a general anesthetic. It has a high potential for abuse, so it is seldom prescribed for use beyond two weeks. Individuals who take the drug for longer than or at dosages other than prescribed are at risk for serious complications affecting their breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate, all of which can be slowed to dangerous or even lethal levels.

What makes this particular drug even more scary is that it is used in veterinary practices for euthanasia of animals. As such, people with terminal conditions have found that they can readily purchase this drug over the internet and use it as a means to end their own lives.

Because of the way it works to slow brain and body functions, Nembutal use needs to be as directed. If it is misused, and particularly when combined with alcohol, the risk of side effects is greatly exacerbated. Side effects can include headache, slurred speech, delirium, hypotension, extreme fatigue, weakened pulse, stoppage of breathing, and death. Abuse of Nembutal can be via oral consumption, rectal suppository, or injectables if the drug has been modified.

Nebutal misuse can be seriously problematic. If you need to learn more about this drug and what can be done to stop the misuse, check out our related topics or contact The Recovery Village via our toll-free hotline.