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For the past decade, sterile veterinary liquid has been the commonest form used for a peaceful death. (Fig 15.2) Occasionally pharmaceutical grade Nembutal tablets or capsules, originally prescribed as sleeping medication, are obtained although this is uncommon. (Fig 15.3)
Reagent grade Nembutal is marketed as a white crystalline powder which readily absorbs moisture and is very soluble in water.
It is non-sterile and packaged in small, tightly-sealed screw top plastic containers. Most people ordering in this way from China (see Ch 14) receive 25gm as loose powder packaged in a screw- top plastic container (see Fig 15.1). Note - 25 gm is more than enough of the drug to provide a peaceful death for 2 - 3 people.
The veterinary liquid form of the drug is designed for intravenous administration in animals to provide anaesthesia for surgery. It is marketed as a sterile clear liquid with a concentration of 60 mg/ml of sodium pentobarbital in alkaline buffered solution with 10% methyl alcohol and ethylene glycol. The usual packaging is a glass 100ml bottle (clear or tinted glass), sealed with a rubber stopper and metal seal.