Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki
"We need to get our hands on some barbiturates."
Jimmy McGill[src]

Barbiturates are a class of hypnotic drugs that act as central nervous system depressants. They are all derived from barbituric acid. They work by enhancing the action of the neurotransmitter GABA, which results in the inhibition of brain cell activity. In the 1960's and 70's they were commonly used to treat anxiety, epilepsy and seizure disorders, to induce sleep in those with insomnia and as anaesthetics. However, by 2010 they were no longer commonly prescribed, having been largely superseded by safer medications with less side effects such as benzodiazepines. Their use is now limited mainly to severe conditions such as extreme insomnia, seizures that cannot be treated with less toxic agents, and the induction of anaesthesia.

Jimmy McGill (operating under the alias Gene Takovic) along with Jeff and Buddy used a barbiturate in a criminal scheme to drug wealthy single men on their way home from a bar and then rob them while they were unconscious.


Better Call Saul[]

Season 6[]


Gene prepares water bottles drugged with a barbiturate.

Gene shows up at Jeff's mom's house unexpectedly, with a new plan which he tells to Jeff in the garage. Gene says they need to get their hands on some barbiturates. They manage to obtain a bottle of pills but it is not shown how. At home, Gene breaks open the pills and dissolves their contents in mini water bottles, which were then carried by Jeff in a cooler on the front passenger seat of his taxi cab during the night shift. Gene would get the target mark drunk at a bar and make them thirsty by offering them peanuts. When the taxi driven by Jeff arrived to bring the victim home, they would be inebriated and thirsty, so Jeff would offer them one of the tainted water bottles which they would drink willingly. They would then fall unconscious shortly after arriving home before Buddy robbed the house. The plot worked successfully several times on different victims until the last, when Buddy refused to do his part and so Gene decided to burglarise the house himself. ("Breaking Bad") The barbiturates' sedative effects began to wear off and the target woke up and started moving around while Gene was still upstairs, but the man then fell asleep again while using his phone. ("Waterworks")