What is the role of pentobarbital in pediatric sedation?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Wan-Tsu Wendy Chang, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
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Pentobarbital is widely used for procedural sedation. It is a short-acting barbiturate with sedative, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant properties. When administered IV, pentobarbital has a prompt onset of sedation (within 3-5 minutes), and its duration of action is 15-45 min. When administered IM, it produces sedation in 10-20 minutes and has a duration of action of 1-2 hours.

Dosing in children is 2-5 mg/kg/dose by slow IV push, not to exceed 100 mg/dose. IM dosing is 2-6 mg/kg/dose, not to exceed 100 mg/dose.

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