Mixing Alcohol and Pentobarbital | Side Effects, Interactions, and Blackouts

Pentobarbital is categorized as a sedative, anxiolytic, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant. It’s prescribed for short-term use in treating insomnia and for controlling seizure activity in patients with epilepsy. Pentobarbital is one of the most frequently used medications in cases of physician-assisted suicide. Pentobarbital should not be mixed with alcohol or most other depressants. Combining central nervous system depressants with Pentobarbital can lead to a dangerously low respiratory rate.

Pentobarbital has a long list of common side effects, including dizziness, poor balance, loss of coordination, drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, and overactive reflexes. Other side effects may be evidence of an allergic reaction. Contact medical help immediately if you have trouble breathing, hives, or swelling of the tongue, lips, throat, or face. In addition, more severe symptoms can include hallucinations, slow heart rate, weak pulse, feeling lightheaded, agitation, depression, and confusion. Depression and confusion are significantly more likely to occur in elderly patients.

What is Pentobarbital?

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate. Barbiturates are a class of medications that suppress the central nervous system (CNS). Pentobarbital achieves its anxiety-reducing and sedating effects by increasing the expression of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. GABA is responsible for calming overactive brain activity.

Pentobarbital is part of the newer generation of barbiturates. It is potent and fast-acting. Pentobarbital is administered intravenously, and its effects can be felt within seconds or take up to five minutes, depending on the patient’s physiology.

Pentobarbital is administered intravenously, and this should only be executed by a trained medical professional. Occasionally, patients will be instructed for at-home use. Pentobarbital is also used to reduce intracranial pressure during head trauma injuries. Internal bleeding can create pressure in the skull and cut off oxygen to the brain. Pentobarbital’s ability to suppress the central nervous system can reduce blood pressure and intracranial pressure.

Mixing Alcohol and Pentobarbital

Pentobarbital should never be mixed with alcohol. The combination of Pentobarbital and alcohol can result in dangerous side effects, including a significantly decreased respiratory rate that can lead to cardiac arrest. Pentobarbital should never be mixed with medications or supplements that are sedative. These drugs, when combined with Pentobarbital, can lead to a seriously depressed nervous system and ineffective breathing.

Talk to your doctor before considering taking medications prescribed for anxiety, depression, or seizures. Sleeping pills, narcotic pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and prescription cough medicine should also be avoided. Steroidal drugs, blood thinners, birth control pills, and hormone replacement estrogens can lead to further complications. Do not operate machinery or drive while taking Pentobarbital.

Summing Up Side Effects, Interactions, and Blackouts of Mixing Alcohol and Pentobarbital

Pentobarbital is a potent central nervous system depressant that should only be used under close medical supervision. Miscalculating doses or combining Pentobarbital with the wrong medications can result in ineffective breathing and death. Pentobarbital should never be mixed with alcohol for the same reason.

Pentobarbital comes with several potential side effects that impact multiple body systems including the cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory systems. Individuals with a history of kidney or liver malfunction should share this with their doctor as such disorders can cause complications.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.