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Lots of Anesthesia
Barbiturates - Methohexital & Oxygen
by mouse
Citation:   mouse. "Lots of Anesthesia: An Experience with Barbiturates - Methohexital & Oxygen (exp106882)". Jun 20, 2020.

100 mg IV Barbiturates
    inhaled Oxygen


I've received many different barbiturates for anesthesia purposes, but the one I have probably the most experience with is methohexital (Brevital).

I received 100 mg of methohexital IV push three times a week for a total of ten times, for ECT. Methohexital is a common ECT anesthetic because, unlike other barbiturates, it actually lowers the seizure threshold, meaning that less electricity is needed to produce the seizure. Methohexital is also ideal for ECT because of its quick onset and short duration of action.

Because of the ECT I was on no other psychoactive drug at the time, and because I was in an inpatient psych unit I wasn't using anything recreationally either. My only other medication was 50 mcg levothyroxine (Synthroid) every morning. For each ECT session after I was anesthetized I would receive 110 mg succinylcholine as a muscle relaxant.

My medical history consists of hypothyroidism, celiac sprue, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and of course significant psychiatric illness. Recreationally I have used cannabis, alcohol, nitrous oxide, alprazolam, kratom, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. I'm currently not a drinker or a cigarette smoker.

The methohexital really burns as they inject it. They are supposed to inject it slowly but it seemed to go in pretty fast to me. Maybe the whole syringe was empty in about 10 seconds. When they start injecting it they put a mask over my mouth and nose and tell me to take slow, deep breaths. The first few times I didn't notice anything except how much the medication hurt, and then I was asleep.

After I got used to the process, I began to pay attention to how I was feeling as the drug entered my system. For a few seconds there is nothing except the burning pain in my vein. Then there is a tingling sensation, starting down near my feet. I probably could move at this point, but I lose the desire to, and lie very still. My head feels heavy and there is a sense of contentment and peace, similar to a large dose of benzodiazepines with no tolerance. Sometimes a desire to smile or laugh, but not to the extent that anesthesia with nitrous oxide causes. After that I'm out. The whole time of falling asleep probably takes 45 seconds to a minute. For me it wasn't immediate, as some claim. I've had other anesthetics that have knocked me out faster, but I don't know if that's because my drug use has changed over the years.

With methohexital one is usually in the deepest level of anesthesia for about seven minutes. I'm not sure if they intubated me, but I know they put an oxygen mask over my face. I also had a bite-guard in my mouth because of the seizure. I probably gained consciousness after around 15 to 30 minutes, but have no memory of that, either because of the medication or because of the electricity. My memory returns at about 45 minutes after falling asleep.

I had absolutely no side effects or lingering effects from the methohexital. I felt fine and able to do everything upon my return to the main unit from the place where the ECT was conducted. I had no headache or any other weird feeling.

Exp Year: 2015ExpID: 106882
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 26 
Published: Jun 20, 2020Views: 782
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Barbiturates (210) : Retrospective / Summary (11), Medical Use (47), Hospital (36)

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