Module 2: Basic Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs and Substances

Lesson 1


The name barbiturate comes from barbituric acid, the chemical base for this class of medications. Barbiturates are nonselective CNS depressants, capable of producing all degrees of depression from mild sedation and hypnosis to general anesthesia, deep coma, and death. The extent of CNS depression is dependent on the route of administration, the dose, and the characteristics of the particular drug. Patient factors such as age, physical and emotional state, and concomitant use of other drugs will affect response. Common barbiturates include phenobarbital, secobarbital, pentobarbital, and amobarital. Depending on the medication protocol selected by providers, these agents may be used in providing medical assistance in dying.