methohexital (generic name)

It is used to cause relaxation and sleep before or during surgery
(meth oh HEK si tal)
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What is this medicine?

METHOHEXITAL (meth oh HEK si tal) is an anesthetic. It is used to cause relaxation and sleep before or during surgery. It does not relieve pain.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • porphyria
  • seizures
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to methohexital, other barbiturates, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein or injection into a muscle. This medicine can be diluted and prepared as an enema to be given rectally. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 1 month old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • St. John's wort
  • voriconazole

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • ethyl alcohol
  • levodopa
  • medicines for seizures like phenobarbital
  • medicines for sleep
  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
  • narcotic medicines for pain
  • propylene glycol
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive for at least 8 to 12 hours after you are treated with this medicine. Do not use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • low blood pressure
  • muscle twitch
  • numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • pain at site where injected
  • seizures

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • anxietyor confusion
  • coughing
  • headache
  • hiccups
  • nausea, vomiting

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: June 25, 2009
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