For humans, Nembutal sodium mostly used in operating rooms and intensive care units to treat uncontrolled seizures and brain swelling. When injected, the drug goes to the heart and is pumped throughout the body.

It’s unique in a manner that it reaches the brain tissue very efficiently. Pentobarbital affects a body when used in operating rooms and ICUs to treat uncontrolled seizures and brain swelling. What follows does not address executions.

It slows down the activity in the brain — it essentially puts you to sleep — and, as the doses go higher, into almost a state of coma to the point of completely shutting down. (The) rest of the body is controlled by nerve cells, so similar effects happen there … the nerves that affect your heart muscles … get slowed down, so the heart muscles will start beating slower and slower, essentially to the point of lowering your blood pressure. …

Same happens for breathing: The brain centers that regulate your breathing, as well as the nerve cells that help the breathing muscles work, get slowed down. … It also has several other effects, like slowing down your stomach activity and pretty much any other activity in the body that’s controlled by nerve cells”.

And it isn’t a drug that just any doctor can prescribe, Sarwal cautioned.

Pentobarbital is a drug that has to be given by qualified providers who are specifically trained to monitor the dosing and side effects … So, this is not part of typical medical school training. (Doctors) do get trained in understanding the side effects but it does require special training, and the use of pentobarbital is restricted to specific professions.

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