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Methohexital Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to methohexital: injection solution reconstituted, intravenous solution prefilled syringe

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
  • Seizures.
  • Restlessness.
  • Anxiety.
  • This drug may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Headache.
  • Hiccups.
  • Cough.
  • Twitching.
  • Belly pain.
  • Drooling.
  • Runny nose.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to methohexital: intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution


Cardiovascular side effects have included circulatory depression, thrombophlebitis, hypotension, tachycardia, peripheral vascular collapse, and convulsions in association with cardiorespiratory arrest.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included respiratory depression (including apnea), cardiorespiratory arrest, laryngospasm, bronchospasm, hiccups, and dyspnea.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache, skeletal muscle hyperactivity (twitching), and seizures.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included emergence delirium, restlessness, and anxiety, especially in the presence of postoperative pain.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, emesis, salivation, and abdominal pain.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects have included erythema, pruritus, urticaria, and cases of anaphylaxis.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included abnormal liver function tests.[Ref]


Local side effects have included injury to nerves adjacent to injection site and pain at injection site.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Brevital Sodium (methohexital)." JHP Pharmaceuticals, Saddle River, NJ.

Some side effects of methohexital may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.