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Amytal Sodium

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Amytal Sodium

How Supplied


  1.  Sedative
  2.  Hypnotic, for the short-term treatment of insomnia, since it appears to lose its effectiveness for sleep induction and sleep maintenance after 2 weeks (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
  3.  Pre anesthetic


The dose of amobarbital sodium must be individualized with full knowledge of its particular characteristics and recommended rate of administration. Factors of consideration are the patient's age, weight, and condition. The maximum single dose for an adult is 1 g.

Intramuscular Use

Intramuscular injection of the sodium salts of barbiturates should be made deeply into a large muscle. The average intramuscular dose ranges from 65 mg to 0.5 g. A volume of 5 mL (irrespective of concentration) should not be exceeded at any one site because of possible tissue irritation. Twenty percent solutions may be used so that a small volume can contain a large dose. After IM injection of a hypnotic dose, the patient's vital signs should be monitored. Superficial intramuscular or subcutaneous injections may be painful and may produce sterile abscesses or sloughs.

Intravenous Use

Intravenous injection is restricted to conditions in which other routes are not feasible, either because the patient is unconscious (as in cerebral hemorrhage, eclampsia, or status epilepticus), because the patient resists (as in delirium), or because prompt action is imperative. Slow IV injection is essential, and patients should be carefully observed during administration. This requires that blood pressure, respiration, and cardiac function be maintained, vital signs be recorded and equipment for resuscitation and artificial ventilation be available. The rate of IV injection for adults should not exceed 50 mg/min to prevent sleep or sudden respiratory depression. The final dosage is determined to a great extent by the patient's reaction to the slow administration of the drug.


  1. Sedative: 30 to 50 mg given 2 or 3 times daily.
  2. Hypnotic: 65 to 200 mg at bedtime.

Special Patient Population

Dosage should be reduced in the elderly or debilitated because these patients may be more sensitive to barbiturates. Dosage should be reduced for patients with impaired renal function or hepatic disease. Ordinarily, an intravenous dose of 65 mg to 0.5 g may be given to a child 6 to 12 years of age.


Amytal Sodium (amobarbital sodium injection) Vials are available in:

The 0.5 g (dry powder) vials are available as follows:

1 UNIT-PACK NDC 42998-303-01

Store at 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C).

Manufactured for: Marathon Pharmaceuticals Deerfield, IL 60015 USA. By: AAlPharma Charleston, SC 29405 USA. September 2008.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/21/2009

How Supplied

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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