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Sodium thiopental , better known as Sodium Pentothal (a trademark of Abbott Laboratories), thiopental , thiopentone sodium, or Trapanal (also a trademark), is a rapid-onset short-acting barbiturate general anesthetic. Sodium thiopental is a depressant and is sometimes used during interrogations – not to cause pain (in fact, it may have just the opposite effect), but to weaken the resolve of the subject and make him more compliant to pressure. Thiopental is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic healthcare system.
Thiopental is an ultra-short-acting barbiturate and has been used commonly in the induction phase of general anesthesia. Its use in the United States and elsewhere has been largely replaced with that of propofol. Following intravenous injection the drug rapidly reaches the brain and causes unconsciousness within 30–45 seconds. At one minute, the drug attains a peak concentration of about 60% of the total dose in the brain. Thereafter, the drug distributes to the rest of the body and in about 5–10 minutes the concentration is low enough in the brain such that consciousness returns.
Truth serum: Thiopental (Pentothal) is still used in some places as a truth serum. The barbiturates as a class decrease higher cortical brain functioning. Some psychiatrists hypothesize that because lying is more complex than telling the truth, suppression of the higher cortical functions may lead to the uncovering of the "truth". However, the reliability of confessions made under thiopental is dubious; the drug tends to make subjects chatty and cooperative with interrogators.
Contraindications: Thiopental should not be given in case of liver disease, Addison's disease, myxedema, severe heart disease, severe hypotension, a severe breathing disorder, or a history of porphyria.
Co-administration of pentoxifylline and thiopental causes death by acute pulmonary oedema in rats. This pulmonary oedema was not mediated by cardiac failure or by pulmonary hypertension but was due to increased pulmonary vascular permeability.

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Medications Used in General Anesthesia:
Propofol, Vecuronium bromide, pancuronium, Halothane, Enflurane, Isoflurane, Midazolam, Ketamine, Nitrous Oxide, Thiopental, Etomidate, Atracurium

Regional Anesthesia:
Mepivacaine, Chloroprocaine, Lidocaine

Local Anesthesia:
Procaine, Lidocaine, Tetracaine, Bupivacaine

Topical Anesthesia:
Benzocaine, Lidocaine, Dibucaine, Pramoxine, Butamben, Tetracaine (Sprays, Ointments, Creams, Gels)

What is Anesthesia? An anesthetic (anaesthetic), is a drug that causes anesthesia — reversible loss of sensation. They contrast with analgesics (painkillers), which relieve pain without eliminating sensation. These drugs are generally administered to facilitate surgery. A wide variety of drugs are used in modern anesthetic practice. Many are rarely used outside of anesthesia, although others are used commonly by all disciplines. Anesthetics are categorized in to two classes: general anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of consciousness, and local anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of sensation for a limited region of the body while maintaining consciousness. Combinations of anesthetics are sometimes used for their synergistic and additive therapeutic effects, however, adverse effects may also be increased.


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