Last update Aug. 23, 2021

Thiopental Sodium


Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Short-acting barbiturate used in the induction and maintenance of anesthesia, in the acute treatment of epileptic seizures and to reduce the increase in intracranial pressure.
Intravenous administration.

It is excreted in breast milk in a clinically non-significant amount (Esener 1992, Andersen 1987).

No problems have been observed in infants of mothers treated with this drug (Lee 1993, Andersen 1987).
The urinary thiopental levels of these infants was very low (Morgan 1982).

The mother can breastfeed again as soon as she awakens from anesthesia, is alert and fit and able to hold her baby (Lactmed, Schaefer 2015 p666, Lee 1993).

Several experts consider the occasional use of this medication safe during breastfeeding (Hale, Schaefer 2015 p665, Howie 2006).
American Academy of Pediatrics: Medication Usually Compatible with Breastfeeding (AAP 2001).
WHO Essential Medicines List: compatible with breastfeeding (WHO 2002).


Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Thiopental Sodium is also known as

Thiopental Sodium in other languages or writings:


Thiopental Sodium belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Thiopental Sodium in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 264 daltons
Protein Binding 80 %
VD 1.4 l/Kg
pKa 7.2 -
Tmax 0.03 hours
3 - 8 hours
M/P ratio 0.3 - 0.4 -
Theoretical Dose 0.05 - 0.314 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 1.0 - 5.9 %
Ped.Relat.Dose 2 - 3 %


  1. LactMed. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Internet. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Available from: 2006 - Consulted on April 16, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Hale TW. Medications & Mothers' Milk. 1991- . Springer Publishing Company. Available from Consulted on April 10, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  3. Schaefer C, Peters P, Miller RK. Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation. Treatment options and risk assessment. Elsevier, Third Edition. 2015
  4. Howie WO, McMullen PC. Breastfeeding problems following anesthetic administration. J Perinat Educ. 2006 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Nice FJ, De Eugenio D, Dimino TA, Freeny IC, Rovnack MB, Gromelski JS. Medications and Breast-Feeding: A Guide for Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Other Healthcare Professionals. Part I. J Pharm Technol 2004;20:17-27. doi: 10.1177/875512250402000106.
  6. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs. Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics. 2001 Sep;108(3):776-89. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Lee JJ, Rubin AP. Breast feeding and anaesthesia. Anaesthesia. 1993 Jul;48(7):616-25. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Esener Z, Sarihasan B, Güven H, Ustün E. Thiopentone and etomidate concentrations in maternal and umbilical plasma, and in colostrum. Br J Anaesth. 1992 Dec;69(6):586-8. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Andersen LW, Qvist T, Hertz J, Mogensen F. Concentrations of thiopentone in mature breast milk and colostrum following an induction dose. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1987 Jan;31(1):30-2. Abstract
  11. Morgan DJ, Beamiss CG, Blackman GL, Paull JD. Urinary excretion of placentally transferred thiopentone by the human neonate. Dev Pharmacol Ther. 1982;5(3-4):136-42. Abstract

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