Thiopental theraputic coma
Pharmacology, Clinical - Neurologic
Barbiturate coma therapy has been used in head injured patients to lower ICP when other therapies such as mannitol and hyperventilation have failed. Barbiturates may also protective during periods of cerebral hypoxia. The mechanism of action of barbiturates is by inhibiting the synaptic transmission thereby decreasing the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption, reducing blood volume and ICP. In addition to lowering ICP, extracellular concentration of lactate and excitatory amino acids are reduced after barbiturate therapy.