methohexital

Pronunciation: METH oh HEX i tal

Brand: Brevital Sodium

What is the most important information I should know about methohexital?

Avoid driving or operating machinery for 8 to 12 hours after you awake from anesthesia.

What is methohexital?

Methohexital is a barbiturate (bar-BIT-chur-ate) that is used to cause you to fall asleep before a surgery or other medical procedure.

Methohexital may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving methohexital?

You should not be treated with methohexital if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system); or
  • an allergy to other barbiturates (butabarbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, secobarbital, and others).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • anemia (lack of red blood cells);
  • an endocrine disorder;
  • high or low blood pressure;
  • heart disease, congestive heart failure; or
  • circulation problems.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Anesthesia may affect brain development in a young child or unborn baby (when used in the mother), leading to learning or behavior problems later in life. Long surgeries or repeated procedures pose the highest risks.

Anesthesia may still be necessary for a life-threatening condition, medical emergency, or surgery to correct a birth defect. Your doctor can give inform you about all medicines given during a surgery or procedure.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.

How is methohexital given?

Methohexital is injected into a muscle or a vein. This medication is also given rectally when used in young children.

A healthcare provider will give you this medicine.

Tell your medical caregivers if you feel any burning or pain when methohexital is injected.

Methohexital should make you fall asleep very quickly.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely. You will also be watched closely while you are coming out of the anesthesia.

Drowsiness may last for several hours. You will need someone to drive you home from after you receive methohexital.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Methohexital is used as a single dose and does not have a daily dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

What should I avoid after receiving methohexital?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery for 8 to 12 hours after you awake from anesthesia.

Avoid drinking alcohol for a short time after receiving methohexital. Dangerous side effects could occur.

What are the possible side effects of methohexital?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your medical caregivers right away if you have:

  • severe burning or swelling where the medicine was injected;
  • fast heartbeats;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • muscle twitching; or
  • confusion, anxiety, or restless feeling when coming out of anesthesia.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • chills or shivering;
  • coughing, hiccups; or
  • itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect methohexital?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • phenytoin or other seizure medications;
  • a blood thinner --warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven; or
  • steroid medicine --prednisone, dexamethasone, prednisolone, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect methohexital, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about methohexital.

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