Which medications in the drug class Barbiturate Agents are used in the treatment of Acute Liver Failure?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Gagan K Sood, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Barbiturate Agents

Barbiturate agents such as thiopental and pentobarbital may be considered when severe intracranial hypertension does not respond to other measures. Administration has been shown to effectively decrease intracranial pressure (ICP). Significant systemic hypotension frequently limits their use and may necessitate additional measures to maintain adequate mean arterial pressure.

Pentobarbital (Nembutal)

Pentobarbital is a short-acting barbiturate with sedative, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant properties. It may be used at high dosages to induce barbiturate coma for the treatment of refractory increased ICP. The recommended dose is 3-5 mg/kg intravenously as a loading dose, followed by infusion at 1-3 mg/kg/h intravenously.

Thiopental (Pentothal)

Thiopental is an ultra–short-acting central nervous system depressant that decreases intracranial pressure. The recommended dose of thiopental for intracranial hypertension is 5-10 mg/kg as a loading dose, followed by an infusion of 3-5 mg/kg intravenously.

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