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Discontinued Warning IconPlease Note: This Brand Name drug is no longer available in the US.
(Generic versions may still be available.)

(thiopental sodium) for Injection, USP



Pentothal (Thiopental Sodium for Injection, USP) is a thiobarbiturate, the sulfur analogue of sodium pentobarbital.

The drug is prepared as a sterile powder and after reconstitution with an appropriate diluent is administered by the intravenous route.

Pentothal (thiopental sodium) is chemically designated sodium 5-ethyl-5-(1-methylbutyl)-2-thiobarbiturate.

The drug is a yellowish, hygroscopic powder, stabilized with anhydrous sodium carbonate as a buffer (60 mg/g of thiopental sodium).

Diluents in Pentothal (thiopental sodium) ® Kits

Ready-To-Mix Syringes and Vials
(For preparing solutions of Thiopental Sodium for Injection, USP)

The following diluents in various container, syringe and vial sizes are provided in Pentothal (thiopental sodium) Kits, Pentothal (thiopental sodium) Ready-to-Mix Syringes and Vials for preparing solutions of Pentothal (Thiopental Sodium for Injection, USP) for clinical use:

Sterile Water for Injection, USP is a sterile, nonpyrogenic preparation of water for injection which contains no bacteriostat, antimicrobial agents or added buffers. The pH is 5.7 (5.0 to 7.0).

Sterile Water for Injection, USP is a pharmaceutic aid (solvent) for intravenous administration only after addition of a solute.

Water is chemically designated H2O.

0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP is a sterile, nonpyrogenic, isotonic solution of sodium chloride and water for injection. Each mL contains sodium chloride 9 mg (308 mOsmol/liter calc). It contains no bacteriostat, antimicrobial agents or added buffers except for pH adjustment. May contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide for pH adjustment. pH is 5.7 (4.5 to 7.0).

0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP is an isotonic vehicle for intravenous administration of another solute.

Sodium chloride is chemically designated NaCl, a white crystalline compound freely soluble in water.

The semi-rigid vial contained in List Nos. 3329, 6418, 6419, 6420 and 6435 is fabricated from a specially formulated polyolefin. It is a copolymer of ethylene and propylene. The safety of the plastic has been confirmed by tests in animals according to USP biological standards for plastic containers. The container requires no vapor barrier to maintain the proper labeled volume.

What are the possible side effects of thiopental (Pentothal)?

You will remain under constant supervision during treatment with thiopental. Your caregivers will watch for any serious side effects.

Tell your caregivers at once if you feel severe pain while receiving this medication.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • coughing;
  • sneezing; or
  • hiccups.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Pentothal »

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/8/2004
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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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