sodium thiopental


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sodium thiopental

[′sōd·ē·əm ‚thī·ə′pent·əl]
(pharmacology)
C11H17N2O2SNa A yellowish-white powder, soluble in water and alcohol; used in medicine as a barbiturate.
References in periodicals archive ?
The tried-and-true execution drugs are the anesthetics, mostly pentobarbital and sodium thiopental.
While these state procedures do vary in terms of the systems used to administer the lethal chemicals, all lethal injections typically consist of a three-chemical combination: sodium thiopental or Sodium Pentothal, its trademark name; pancuronium bromide, also known as Pavulon; and finally, potassium chloride.
In May 1978, the execution procedures used in Oklahoma specified the following: "The execution shall be by means of a continuous, intravenous administration of a lethal quantity of sodium thiopental combined with either tubo-curarine or succinyl-choline chloride or potassium chloride which is an ultrashort-acting barbiturate combination with a chemical paralytic agent.
But it could mask a reaction to the pain experienced either from the pancuronium bromide's smothering effect or from the potassium chloride injection, if the sodium thiopental has not rendered the prisoner completely unconscious.
There is agreement that if the sodium thiopental is ineffective, it would be unconscionable to inject the second and third drugs into a conscious person.
But insufficient sodium thiopental might leave the prisoner aware as the other two drugs take effect, the researchers say, violating the United States Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibiting cruel punishment.
In seconds, the flow of poisons will begin: first, sodium thiopental to knock him out; a second drug, pancuronium bromide, to paralyze body functions; a third, potassium chloride, to stop the heart.
Both had received injections of sodium thiopental solution for prevention of convulsions, but no other drug had been given to both boys in common.
During the past year, FDA has knowingly permitted unapproved sodium thiopental to be imported by state corrections agencies for use in executions by lethal injection.
For nearly 30 years, Texas used the same three-drug lethal injection cocktail to execute death row inmates: sodium thiopental, an anesthetic, followed by pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, and then potassium chloride, which brings about cardiac arrest.
Typically, lethal injections use a cocktail of drugs: sodium thiopental, a barbiturate that puts the prisoner to sleep, followed by the muscle relaxant pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.
To put a convicted killer to death, Oregon now employs a "three-drug protocol" - sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, potassium chloride - that causes heart failure.