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Pentobarbital Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Pentobarbital is also known as: Nembutal, Nembutal Sodium

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 11, 2019.

Pentobarbital Pregnancy Warnings

This drug is only recommended for use during pregnancy when there are no alternatives and the benefit outweighs the risk.

US FDA pregnancy category: D

Comments:
-If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential harm to the fetus.
-Use of adequate non-hormonal methods of contraception should be encouraged.
-If used during labor, the newborn should be monitored for respiratory depression and resuscitation equipment should be available.
-If used during pregnancy, the newborn should be monitored for acute withdrawal syndrome symptoms for up to 14 days after birth.

Human studies suggest that barbiturate use is connected to a higher than expected incidence of fetal abnormalities. Fetal blood levels approached maternal levels with parenteral administration. This drug crosses the placental barrier and distributes in fetal tissues, including the placenta, liver, and brain (e.g., cardiac defects, cleft lips, cleft palates, microcephaly, neural tube defects). Use during the first and third trimesters may be associated with an increased risk of teratogenicity and withdrawal symptoms in the newborn, respectively. This drug decreases the force and frequency of uterine contractions when used at full anesthetic doses. The effects of this drug on later growth, development, and functional maturity of pediatric patients are unknown.

US FDA pregnancy category D: There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

See references

Pentobarbital Breastfeeding Warnings

Caution is recommended.

Excreted into human milk: Yes

Comments:
The effects in the nursing infant are unknown.
-Some experts recommend using alternative agents (e.g., zaleplon, zolpidem), especially when breastfeeding a preterm or newborn infant.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. "Product Information. Nembutal Sodium (pentobarbital)" Abbott Pharmaceutical, Abbott Park, IL.
  2. "Product Information. Pentobarbital (pentobarbital)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

References for breastfeeding information

  1. United States National Library of Medicine "Toxnet. Toxicology Data Network. Available from: URL: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT." ([cited 2013 -]):
  2. "Product Information. Nembutal Sodium (pentobarbital)" Abbott Pharmaceutical, Abbott Park, IL.
  3. "Product Information. Pentobarbital (pentobarbital)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

Further information

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

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