Sodium Thiopental, also known as Sodium Pentothal is a rapid-onset general anaesthetic.
Thiopental is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic healthcare system.
It is also usually the first of three drugs administered during most lethal injections in the United States. It has been in the news recently because Sodium Thiopental sourced from an India-based company (Naari) will be used in the execution of a US convict. The company alleges that the drug was taken from it under false pretense and protests its use in executions.
2. The Hindu, 5th March 2012.