One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sulfur-containing barbiturate drug used as a general anesthetic and hypnotic, and (reputedly) as a truth serum.
- ‘He and others canvassed six American states for information about their execution protocols, all of which use sequential injections of thiopental, a muscle relaxant, and potassium chloride to kill condemned prisoners.’
- ‘In the critical care setting, midazolam, thiopental, and several antibiotics can be added to this list.’
- ‘The saline intravenous lines are turned off and the thiopental sodium is injected which puts the inmate into a deep sleep.’
- ‘Fentanyl or thiopental may be given intravenously if a deeper level of anesthesia is required during some parts of the procedure.’
- ‘The procedure typically involves the injection of three substances: first, sodium thiopental to induce anaesthesia, followed by pancuronium bromide to relax muscles, and finally potassium chloride to stop the heart.’
1940s: from thio- + a contraction of pentobarbital.
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