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Pentobarbital Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Pentobarbital is also known as: Nembutal, Nembutal Sodium

Medically reviewed on Mar 10, 2017

Pentobarbital Pregnancy Warnings

Pentobarbital has been assigned to pregnancy category D by the FDA. An increased risk of congenital malformations has been associated with use of other barbiturates (including phenobarbital) and anticonvulsants during pregnancy. Pentobarbital has not been specifically implicated, but may pose similar risks. Defects associated with anticonvulsant use in pregnancy include neural tube defects, cleft lips, cleft palates, cardiac defects, and microcephaly. Neonatal barbiturate withdrawal symptoms have also been reported in infants whose mothers took barbiturates during pregnancy. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Pentobarbital should only be given during pregnancy when there are no alternatives and benefit outweighs risk.

See references

Pentobarbital Breastfeeding Warnings

Pentobarbital is excreted into human milk in small amounts. The possibility of accumulation of other barbiturates in nursing infants has been reported, although pentobarbital has not been specifically implicated. The American Academy of Pediatrics has no formal position on pentobarbital but classifies phenobarbital as a drug which has "caused significant effects on some nursing infants and should be given to nursing mothers with caution."

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. Schweigert BF "Neonatal barbiturate withdrawal." JAMA 221 (1972): 1282
  2. Lindhout D, Meinardi H, Meijer JW, Nau H "Antiepileptic drugs and teratogenesis in two consecutive cohorts: changes in prescription policy paralleled by changes in pattern of malformations." Neurology 42 (1992): 94-110
  3. Koren G, Pastuszak A, Ito S "Drugs in pregnancy." N Engl J Med 338 (1998): 1128-37
  4. Dravet C, Julian C, Legras C, Magaudda A, Guerrini R, Genton P, Soulayrol S, Giraud N, Mesdjian E, Trentin G, et al "Epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs, and malformations in children of women with epilepsy: a French prospective cohort study." Neurology 42 (1992): 75-82
  5. Yerby MS, Leavitt A, Erickson DM, McCormick KB, Loewenson RB, Sells CJ, Benedetti TJ "Antiepileptics and the development of congenital anomalies." Neurology 42 (1992): 132-40
  6. "Product Information. Pentobarbital (pentobarbital)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.
  7. Committee on Drugs "American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs: anticonvulsants and pregnancy." Pediatrics 63 (1979): 331-3

References for breastfeeding information

  1. "Product Information. Pentobarbital (pentobarbital)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.
  2. Roberts RJ, Blumer JL, Gorman RL, et al "American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs: Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk." Pediatrics 84 (1989): 924-36
  3. Committee on Drugs, 1992 to 1993 "The transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk." Pediatrics 93 (1994): 137-50
  4. Nau H, Kuhnz W, Egger HJ, Rating D, Helge H "Anticonvulsants during pregnancy and lactation. Transplacental, maternal and neonatal pharmacokinetics." Clin Pharmacokinet 7 (1982): 508-43

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.