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Pentobarbital is a short-acting barbiturate that is available as both a free acid and a sodium salt, the former of which is only slightly soluble in water and ethanol. One trade name for this drug is Nembutal®, coined by Dr. John S. Lundy, who started using it in 1930, from the structural formula of the sodium salt—Na (sodium) + ethyl + methyl + butyl + al (common suffix for barbiturates).
In France, it is used in the treatment of insomnia, and as a preanesthetic.
It is used by itself, or more often in combination with complementary agents such as phenytoin, in commercial animal euthanasia injectable solutions. Trade names include Euthasol, Euthatal, Beuthanasia-D and Fatal Plus.
Pentobarbital has also been used for physician-assisted suicide. Pentobarbital was used for this purpose in the Northern Territory of Australia, prior to euthanasia becoming illegal. It is also commonly used in Oregon for physician assisted suicide.  It is also used by Dignitas (euthanasia group) The actor George Sanders committed suicide with Nembutal in 1972
A pentobarbital suppository was cited in an October 2006 news article in WorldNetDaily.com as the cause of death of Marilyn Monroe.
The Beatles were accused of writing their 1966 hit Yellow Submarine while under the psychoactive effects of Nembutal, though band members denied the allegations.
The Clash makes a reference to it in the song The Right Profile from the album London Calling in which the lyrics read "Nembutal numbs it all, But I prefer… alcohol!"
References and End Notes
Sulfa drugs: Acetazolamide, Ethoxzolamide, Sultiame, Zonisamide -- Propionates: Beclamide -- Aldehydes: Paraldehyde -- Bromides: Potassium bromide, Sodium bromide
Psycholeptics: hypnotics and sedatives (N05C)
|Barbiturates||Pentobarbital - Amobarbital - Butobarbital - Barbital - Aprobarbital - Secobarbital - Talbutal - Vinylbital - Vinbarbital - Cyclobarbital - Heptabarbital - Reposal - Methohexital - Hexobarbital - Thiopental - Ethallobarbital - Allobarbital - Proxibarbal - Phenobarbital|
|Aldehydes||Acetylglycinamide chloral hydrate - Chloral hydrate - Chloralodol - Dichloralphenazone - Paraldehyde - Petrichloral|
|Benzodiazepine||Brotizolam - Cinolazepam - Doxefazepam - Estazolam - Flunitrazepam - Flurazepam - Loprazolam - Lorazepam - Lormetazepam - Nitrazepam - Nimetazepam - Midazolam - Quazepam - Temazepam - Triazolam|
|Piperidinedione||Glutethimide - Methyprylon - Pyrithyldione|
|Quinazolinone||Afloqualone - Cloroqualone - Diproqualone - Etaqualone - Mebroqualone - Mecloqualone - Methaqualone - Methylmethaqualone|
|Nonbenzodiazepine||CL-218,872 - Eszopiclone - Indiplon - Necopidem - Pazinaclone - Saripidem - Suproclone - Suriclone - SX-3228 - Zaleplon - Zolpidem - Zopiclone|
|Melatonin receptor||Agomelatine - Melatonin - Ramelteon|
|GHB Type||GABOB - GHB - GBL - 1,4-Butanediol|
|Other||Apronal - Bromides - Bromisoval - Carbromal - Clomethiazole - Dexmedetomidine - Embutramide - Ethchlorvynol - Ethinamate - Hexapropymate - Methylpentynol - Niaprazine - Propiomazine - Scopolamine - Sulfonmethane - Trichloroethanol - Triclofos - Valerian - Valnoctamide|