Pentobarbital, otherwise known as Nembutal, is a less popular but dangerous drug. It was given the dark nickname of “death in a bottle” due to its deadly capabilities. The medication is not prescribed by doctors anymore due to its abuse potential, but you can still find it on the black market. Nembutal is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II Controlled Substance, which indicates that it is dangerous and addictive. Large doses of Nembutal may lead to death, and the drug has been routinely used for euthanasia over the years.
Individuals who become dependent on Nembutal will notice that it occurs rapidly. If you continue to increase the dose, you will create a much stronger tolerance to Nembutal, which will cause you to need more for your desired effect. Unfortunately, this can lead to dire outcomes. Nembutal abuse signs are similar to alcohol abuse that includes stumbling and slurred speech.
If you abruptly stop using Nembutal, you will experience withdrawal symptoms that vary in intensity. Symptoms might range from moderate to severe and start in as little as nine to 12 hours after your previous dose.
The most common symptoms of Nembutal withdrawal might include:
Since Nembutal is a barbiturate, it will follow a similar timeline that you might expect from drugs in this category. The most common factors influencing this timeline include:
A generalized timeline Nembutal withdrawal symptoms go as follows:
Days 1-3: Symptoms may appear as soon as nine to 12 hours after your last dose. The earliest symptoms include sweating, anxiety, insomnia, and weakness. You must taper off Nembutal if you want to avoid delirium or seizures.
Days 3-4: The peak of your symptoms will occur at this time. The intensity will depend on the factors we discussed above, and the most common symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and in severe cases, delirium. You must consider medical detox at this point to avoid potential death.
Days 5-7: Physical symptoms will start to deteriorate at this point, but intense depression and cravings will remain.
Ready to get Help?
Talk to a treatment expert
Week 2 and beyond: Withdrawal symptoms by now should disappear, but psychological symptoms might stick around. Those in recovery report feeling exhausted, cravings, and an inability to sleep. Most others report that by weeks three or four, they are symptom-free.
Due to the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms because of barbiturates like Nembutal, stopping without the right help can be deadly. You must consider being in a controlled environment for your safety, as this will allow you to transition into sobriety without concerns for your health.
Once you complete your stay in detox, you will likely move forward in the continuum of care. It may result in you moving to a residential or outpatient treatment center, which will help you address your underlying causes of addiction. Only a doctor can determine what will work best for you.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Scheduling. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/
Gibson, I. I. (1966, September). Barbiturate delirium. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5916201
Sarrecchia, C., Sordillo, P., Conte, G., & Rocchi, G. (1998). Barbiturate withdrawal syndrome: A case associated with the abuse of a headache medication. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10349206
Singh, V. (2014). Survival after fatal pentobarbital ingestion. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968666/
Pentobarbital overdose: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002508.htm