In contrast, 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% ethyl (or 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.
Pharmaceutical-grade Nembutal tablets or capsules are normally supplied in a screw top plastic container, showing a date of manufacture of more than 20 years ago, usually long past their expiry date.
Interaction with Other Drugs
Those who take Nembutal for a peaceful death are often taking other drugs due to their illness. When approaching the chosen day to take the Nembutal, an often-asked question is whether any inter-current medications should cease.
There are only a few drugs that are known to interfere with the action of Nembutal. There is generally no need to cease taking other drugs in the preceding days.
Nevertheless, it is
common practice for those planning their death to cease all but the essential medication in the week before their planned exit.
Chronic heavy alcohol use, for example, can lead to cross- tolerance and may impair the action of the barbiturate. In rare cases, taking another barbiturate, such as the anti-convulsant phenobarb, can lead to the development of a barbiturate- tolerance. In these cases, a larger dose of the Nembutal (12gm powder or 2 x 100ml bottles) would be advised.