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Embutramide (INN, USAN, BAN) (brand name Embutane) is a potent opioid analgesic and sedative drug that is structurally related to methadone. It was developed by Hoechst A.G. in 1958 and was investigated as a general anesthetic agent, but was found to have a very narrow therapeutic window, with a 50 mg/kg dose producing effective sedation and a 75 mg/kg dose being fatal. Along with strong sedative effects, embutramide also produces respiratory depression and ventricular arrhythmia. Because of these properties, it was never been adopted for medical use as an anesthetic as it was considered too dangerous for this purpose. Instead it is used for euthanasia in veterinary medicine, mainly for the euthanization of dogs.
Embutramide is used for euthanasia of a range of different animals, mainly small animals kept as pets rather than large farm animals. It may cause significant pain to the animal being euthanized, and so may be less humane than older drugs used for this purpose such as pentobarbital, however it may have less abuse potential than barbiturates especially in the Tributame combination formulation, and so is less likely to be diverted for recreational abuse. Embutramide has however been reported to be used for suicide by people with access to the drug, and was added to the list of Schedule III drugs in the USA in 2006.
- J. Elks (14 November 2014). The Dictionary of Drugs: Chemical Data: Chemical Data, Structures and Bibliographies. Springer. pp. 482–. ISBN 978-1-4757-2085-3.
- Dr. Ian Morton; I.K. Morton; Judith M. Hall (31 October 1999). Concise Dictionary of Pharmacological Agents: Properties and Synonyms. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-0-7514-0499-9.
- Michael E. Peterson; Patricia A. Talcott (7 August 2013). Small Animal Toxicology. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 315–. ISBN 978-0-323-24198-4.
- US Patent 3045043
- Hellebrekers LJ, Baumans V, Bertens AP, Hartman W. The use of T61 for the humane killing of pets and laboratory animals. Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskdunde. (Dutch) 1990 Jul 1;115(13):625-32.
- DEA lists embutramide as schedule III controlled substance
- Smith RA, Lewis D. Suicide by ingestion of T-61. Veterinary and Human Toxicology. 1989 Aug;31(4):319-20.
- Kintz P, Cirimele V, Ludes B. Blood investigation in a fatality involving the veterinary drug T-61. Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 2002 Oct;26(7):529-31.
- DEA lists embutramide as schedule III controlled substance. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2006 Nov 1;229(9):1358.
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