Mixing Alcohol and Pentothal: Side Effects, Interactions and Blackouts

Both Pentothal (thiopental) and alcohol, on their own, can have a possibility of side effects. Taking these two substances together greatly increases that possibility. Pentothal is known to cause dizziness and ongoing drowsiness, which is only increased when alcohol is consumed.
Doctors advise you to stay away from alcohol if you’ve had a dose of Pentothal in order to avoid these amplified side effects.

What is Pentothal (Thiopental)?

Pentothal is the brand name for the generic prescription Pentothal. It is used to induce general anesthesia in patients prior to surgery. The medication is only given intravenously. Once it is given, the drug reaches the brain and the patient falls asleep in about 30 to 45 seconds. Pentothal is an ultra-short acting barbiturate and is only administered in a hospital under the care of qualified physicians and anesthesiologists. It is not prescribed to patients for personal use.

Pentothal is also used in veterinary medicine to induce general anesthesia.

The medication works by slowing down the brain and nervous system activity and has a possibility of side effects, which can last up to 36 hours. These side effects include:

  • dizziness
  • ongoing drowsiness
  • weak or shallow breathing
  • slow heartbeats
  • shivering
  • sneezing, coughing, tight feeling in your throat
  • trouble breathing

When you wake from the administration of Pentothal, tell your healthcare workers of any side effects you’re experiencing so you can receive proper care.

In addition to being used for general anesthesia in humans and animals, Pentothal is used for additional purposes in various parts of the world. Other uses include lethal injection, euthanasia, “truth serum,” psychiatry, stopping a seizure and inducing coma.

People with liver disease, Addison’s disease, myxedema, severe heart disease, severe hypotension, severe breathing disorders or a family history of porphyria should not be given Pentothal. Inform your doctor of your complete medical history.

Mixing Alcohol and Pentothal (Thiopental)

Mixing alcohol with Pentothal can lead to extreme dizziness and ongoing drowsiness. Avoid alcohol before, during and after a dosage of Pentothal. Inform your doctor if you’ve consumed alcohol either before surgery or after you arrived home, so they can make sure you are properly monitored and help you with any possible side effects.

Summing Up Side Effects, Interactions, and Blackouts of Mixing Alcohol and Pentothal (Thiopental)

Drinking alcohol while taking Pentothal (thiopental) will increase the chances of dizziness and drowsiness. The fact that both alcohol and Pentothal are central nervous system depressants only makes the combination more dangerous, so avoid all alcohol consumption when preparing for a Pentothal injection.

Be honest with your doctor about your habits with alcohol or any other drugs that you are taking when you’re discussing using Pentothal (thiopental) for your procedure. This will help you avoid any unwanted problems during and afterward.

If you feel you or a loved one is misusing alcohol or any other drugs, don’t wait to get help. We can help you overcome your addiction today.

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.