Pentobarbital

July 07, 2014

Pentobarbital is in the barbiturate family. It usually is used as its sodium salt: as a short-term sedative and hypnotic; a veterinary anesthetic; and, in emergencies, an anticonvulsant. The salt is marketed under trade names such as Nembutal and Embutal.

Pentobarbital sodium also has been used in animal and, where legal, human euthanasia—and as an injectable drug for capital punishment. Its use in lethal injections has been in the news because producers of pentobarbital refused to sell it (specifically Nembutal) for this purpose. Similar shortages of other lethal injectables have caused some states to eliminate this form of capital punishment, adding another layer to the discussion about this controversial topic.

 

 

Chemical Abstract Service - a division of ACS

Learn more about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.

Molecule of the Week needs your suggestions!

If your favorite molecule is not in our archive, please send an email to motw@acs.org. The molecule can be notable for its current or historical importance or for any quirky reason. Thank you!

Stay Ahead of the Chemistry Curve

Learn how ACS can help you stay ahead in the world of chemistry.