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Pentazemin was an anti-anxiety drug of the Benzodiazepine class. It possessed a strong effect on someone's nervous system when ingested, and as such acted as a psychotropic drug. Like all anti-anxiety drugs, pentazemin also was effective as a muscle relaxant, and could be used in the treatment of psychosomatic disorders such as autonomic ataxia or as preanesthetics before a medical operation. It also had some uses in treating clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and anxiety. Nonetheless, it was extremely addictive when taken long term, both physically and psychoactively, similar to alcohol addiction. Because of this, doctors often suggested that adults take between .25 and 5 milligram doses no more than one to four times per day.


Soviet forces

The Soviet region of Tselinoyarsk had some pills of pentazemin in the facilities.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]

Pentazemin was occasionally developed at the Soviet-owned base's research laboratory on the San Hieronymo Peninsula, which eventually led Big Boss and his resistance to steal some after learning of a stash's existence at the lab via a spy unit planted there.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.


Sniper Wolf, of the FOXHOUND unit during 2005, frequently took pentazemin to aid in her sniping abilities. This also led to her developing a serious addiction to the medicine. The addiction was likewise speculated by Liquid Snake and Revolver Ocelot to have slowed her body down to the extent that FOXDIE could not kill her before she died at the hands of Solid Snake. Snake himself later procured some for himself during his mission on Shadow Moses Island at the same time, and learned from Naomi Hunter some of its properties, causing him to mention that Naomi sounded like a medical doctor.

Otacon once stated during the Tanker Incident that pentazemin can prevent seasickness, but he later admitted that he only said this to give it a placebo effect. Snake later made it a point when talking to Raiden about the drug to tell him that it does not prevent seasickness, although Raiden seemed quite confused by the remark.

War economy

Because of the advent of the war economy in the early 2010s, pentazemin was used by various PMCs to aid in their sniping. Snake himself, while undergoing his mission to assassinate Liquid Ocelot, procured this drug for his own purposes.

Behind the scenes

Pentazemin is an item featured in the Metal Gear Solid games. This form of Benzodiazepine is fictional, but is used to reduce hand tremors in game for a steadier aim while using a sniper rifle. In the original Metal Gear Solid, it is referred to as Diazepam, a real Benzodiazepine, which was first marketed as Valium. Benzodiazepines act as a CNS (central nervous system) depressant.

In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Pentazemin is assigned a weight of 0.1 kg in the Survival Viewer.

Pentazemin in Portable Ops.

"Reduces hand tremors when aiming a weapon in First Person View."
―Pentazemin description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
"A drug in the benzodiazepine family. Has anti-anxiety, anti-convulsive, and muscle relaxant properties and is also used as a sedative and hypnotic. Binds with GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the central nervous system, increasing the ferequency of ion channel opening. This augments the efficacy of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, resulting in the aforementioned effects. Some snipers use it to reduce body tension and prevent hand tremors while aiming.

Temporarily prevents hands from trembling while sniping.
―Pentazemin description in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots


See also