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Pentothal Side Effects

Generic Name: thiopental

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug thiopental. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Pentothal.

For the Consumer

Applies to thiopental: parenteral powder for injection

Side effects include:

Respiratory depression, myocardial depression, cardiac arrhythmias, prolonged somnolence and recovery, sneezing, coughing, bronchospasm, laryngospasm, shivering.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to thiopental: intravenous powder for injection, rectal suspension


Cardiovascular side effects have included myocardial depression, cardiac arrhythmias, and a fall in blood pressure even to shock levels.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included respiratory depression, sneezing, coughing, bronchospasm, and laryngospasm.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included prolonged somnolence and recovery. Radial nerve palsy has been reported rarely.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects have included anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions, e.g., urticaria, bronchospasm, vasodilation and edema.[Ref]


General side effects have included shivering.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included rare reports of immune hemolytic anemia with renal failure.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Pentothal (thiopental)." Abbott Pharmaceutical, Abbott Park, IL.

It is possible that some side effects of Pentothal may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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