Nembutal Withdrawal

Known by abusers as “yellow jackets” because of the capsule color, the drug Nembutal (generic name pentobarbital) has the rather dubious distinction of being the drug that Marilyn Monroe, unfortunately, overdosed on. Like other barbiturates, Nembutal can be very dangerous because the difference between a medical dose and overdose is slim.

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In fact, these drugs are not commonly prescribed anymore for this reason. And for those who abuse or develop a dependence on the drug, Nembutal withdrawal can be difficult as the withdrawal symptoms are severe and can be deadly. Because of this, it’s imperative to find a professional addiction treatment program to support you during the detox and recovery process.

Think you can’t afford treatment? Think again! Insurance can cover up to 100%!

Think you can’t afford treatment? Think again! Insurance can cover up to 100%!

Alcohol Withdrawal

What Are the Nembutal Withdrawal Symptoms?

Like other barbiturates, Nembutal is a central nervous system depressant that binds to the GABA neurotransmitters in the brain. This allows it to trick the brain into thinking that it is GABA and causes the brain to produce excess GABA. This is what causes the sensations of deep relaxation and sleep.

The difference between a prescribed dose of Nembutal and overdose is small. It can also be easy to develop a dependence on or addiction to this drug due to its powerful sedative effects.

At that point, trying to stop taking Nembutal can be difficult because your body has become dependent on it and you will experience Nembutal withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking it.

Just like withdrawing from other barbiturates, Nembutal withdrawal can be very dangerous and should not be attempted at home. Up to 75 percent of people withdrawing from barbiturates experience seizures. Up to 66 percent may experience delirium that lasts a few days. Symptoms of Nembutal withdrawal include:

  • Tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • High temperature
  • Seizures
  • Heart failure
  • Death

What Are the Stages of the Nembutal Withdrawal Timeline?

As with most barbiturates, minor Nembutal withdrawal symptoms usually start about eight to 12 hours after the last dose. These may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle twitching
  • Hand tremors
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Distorted vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure

Major Nembutal withdrawal symptoms usually occur about 16 hours after the last dose. These symptoms last for about five days. These include:

  • Convulsions
  • Delirium

It’s important to keep in mind that some barbiturate withdrawal symptoms, particularly mental and emotional symptoms, may last for several months or years.

Why Should I Detox?

Quitting drugs cold turkey can be difficult and painful. It can even be deadly in some cases— such as with barbiturates like Nembutal.

Withdrawing on your own, whether cold turkey or not, can be very challenging given the difficult physical and psychological symptoms. Because of this, it’s important to find a professional, medically-assisted detox program to support you during Nembutal withdrawal. You will be carefully monitored by a medical team in a safe environment while your body goes through the difficult, and sometimes painful, detoxification process. Plus, participating in an addiction treatment program gives you a better chance at lasting recovery because of the structured medical and emotional support provided.

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

Because withdrawal from barbiturates like Nembutal can be dangerous and even deadly, it’s best to follow a full continuum of treatment to ensure the best opportunity for a successful recovery. Following a full continuum treatment plan includes starting with the medical detox process, then progressing from an inpatient status to an outpatient level of treatment:

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The first stage of withdrawal treatment is known as detox. The goal during this stage is medical stabilization. The detox stage usually lasts from a few days up to a week. Your medical team, which includes doctors, nurses, and support staff, will give you a complete medical assessment to determine your level of addiction and any additional medical needs you may have. The assessment will include a medical exam and urine or blood tests to screen for drugs.

Your medical team will monitor you 24/7 to help manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prevent dangerous sedative withdrawal symptoms.

Because many people also experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional and psychological challenges as they detox, your treatment plan will also include emotional support. Once you are medically stabilized, your doctor will develop a longer-term treatment plan for you.


You might continue with the next stage of treatment on a residential basis if you require further medical treatment. For example, your doctor may recommend further residential treatment if you have co-occurring medical conditions or you are experiencing further post-acute withdrawal symptoms. This level of treatment is intensive and includes 24/7 medical monitoring. You will also begin seeing a therapist on a regular basis at this stage.


Partial-hospitalization (PHP) is the next stage, either after detox or after further inpatient care.  PHP is like a cross between inpatient care and outpatient treatment. You’ll stay at a transitional living facility while undergoing a supportive, rigorous, and structured treatment program five days a week for six hours each day.

During this time, you will be able to participate in individual, group, and family therapy programs to address your emotional and mental health needs. The focus will be on learning positive life skills, coping mechanisms, and techniques to help prevent relapse. These skills will help you to be better prepared for long-term recovery.


The next stage after PHP is called the intensive outpatient program, or IOP. This level of treatment allows you to live at home while still providing counseling and programs designed to help support you in your recovery process. At this stage, you will participate in about nine or more hours of clinical therapy each week, depending on your treatment plan. These sessions occur several times over the course of each week. You will continue to learn ways to cope with cravings, stress, and other issues that may come up as you transition into recovery.


Once you have completed the formal treatment program, you will have the opportunity to get to know other treatment center alumni during weekly support groups and social events. These aftercare opportunities to meet other program graduates can help you develop new friendships.

Building a social support system with others who understand the recovery process can help you grow and stay focused on your recovery as you continue to adjust to life after the treatment program and take on new responsibilities. It can be a great way to share relapse prevention strategies, new experiences, techniques to manage stress and frustration. Perhaps most importantly, it simply can be a way to enjoy being with new friends.

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you need help with Nembutal withdrawal, contact the admissions specialists at Ocean Breeze Recovery today for free and confidential help. Our specialists are available 24/7 and they can provide guidance and support as you begin your recovery journey. They will discuss the treatment process with you and answer any questions you may have.

After speaking with a specialist, you will know what to expect from our evidence-based services. You will feel prepared to make an informed decision about your plans for treatment. Our specialists can also check with your private health insurance to see if your treatment costs will be fully covered. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Call us today at 844-554-9279 and let us help you get started on your journey to recovery.