Find & Manage Your Patient Assistance Programs
Estimated patient savings $600,000,000.00
Pentobarbital sodium rectal

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.





This medication is for short-term use as a sleeping aid (for insomnia) or for anxiety relief.

How To Use

Warm the suppository under lukewarm water or in your hands. Unwrap suppository and moisten with a little water. Lie down on your left side with the right knee bent. Push the suppository into the rectum with your finger. Remain lying down for a few minutes and avoid having a bowel movement for an hour or longer so the drug will be absorbed. Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or use it more often than prescribed because this drug can be habit-forming. Also, if used for a longer period of time, do not suddenly stop using this without first consulting your doctor. When used for extended periods, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Consult your doctor if the medication is not working well.

Side Effects

This medication causes drowsiness or dizziness. Avoid tasks requiring alertness. Other side effects may include headache, weakness, grogginess, or dreaming. These effects should disappear as your body adjusts to the medication. If they persist or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop: chest pain, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, confusion, hallucinations. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially: liver problems, blood disorders (porphyria), asthma, any allergies. Avoid alcohol while using this as it can lead to extreme drowsiness. Use caution performing tasks requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Elderly persons are usually more sensitive to the effects of this medication. Use cautiously. This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this drug. This drug is excreted into breast milk, though its effects on the nursing infant are unknown. Consult your doctor before you breast-feed.

Drug Interactions

Inform your doctor about all the medicines you use (both prescription and nonprescription), especially: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), medications for epilepsy, medications for depression, cyclosporine. Tell your doctor if you take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: narcotic pain medicines (e.g., codeine), muscle relaxants, alcoholic beverages, sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of these products. This drug may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills. Discuss using other methods of birth control with your doctor. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include slowed or fast breathing; cold, clammy skin; change in size of pupil; deep sleep; and loss of consciousness.


Do not allow anyone else to use this medication.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as remembered; do not use if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.


Keep in the refrigerator (36 to 46 degrees F or 2 to 31 DEGREES C).