Pharmacy : Chemicals, Medicines, and Cures From N to Z
Object ID Number:
Object Name:
Pentothal Sodium
Glass Ampule Pentothal Sodium
Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, Illinois
Manufactured from:
Manufactured to:
Description / History:
2 glass ampules of Pentothal Sodium, also referred to as sodium pentothal or sodium thiopental, made by Abbott Laboratories. The larger ampule containes 1. gm and the smaller ampule contains .5 gm. This type of glass ampule was typically used in the 1930s and 1940s.
The contents of the ampules are in a yellow powdered form and are added to water before use.

Sodium pentothal is a short acting barbiturate and was commonly used for general anesthesia or to induce a medically necessary coma. Vetrenarians also use it for animal anesthetic and euthanasia.

Sodium pentothal is also referred to as truth serum since the drug makes subjects cooperative with interrogator, however the reliability of these confessions may be questionable even though the use of truth serum is often popular in books and movies.

In the later part of the 20th century, sodium pentothal was used for executions by lethal injection. Usually used in a cocktail with 2 additiona drugs, death would typically ocurr within 10 minutes. In 2009, Ohio became the first state to use only sodium pentothal for an execution. Later, the European Union banned the export of sodium pentothal citing The European Union Torture Regulation and its disapproval of capital punishment.

Phychiatrists found sodium pentothal useful in the treatment of patients with phobias and to help relieve trauma. One phychiatrist, Dutch Professor Jan Bastiaans used sodium pentothal to treat surviving victims of the Holocaust.

Discovered in the early 1930s at Abbott Laboratories, Sodium Pentothal was first used on human beings in 1934. Abbott Laboratories contunued to make Sodium Pentothal until 2004. Sodium Pentothal was associated with a number of deaths on patients after the attach on Pearl Harbor. However, later research found that these claims were greatly exagerated.
L–4.75 Dia–0.75 inches
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