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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? Yes
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? Yes
  • Drug class: Hypnotic


  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Relieves insomnia.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Syrup or capsule--Swallow with milk or food to lessen stomach irritation.
Suppositories--Remove wrapper and moisten suppository with water. Gently insert larger end into rectum. Push well into rectum with finger.

When to take:
At the same time each day.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember up to 2 hours late. If more than 2 hours, wait for next scheduled dose (don't double this dose).

What drug does:
Affects brain centers that control wakefulness and alertness.

Time lapse before drug works:
30 to 60 minutes.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Confusion, weakness, breathing difficulty, throat irritation, jaundice, stagger, slow or irregular heartbeat, unconsciousness, convulsions, coma.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • If patient is unconscious and not breathing, give mouth-to- mouth breathing. If there is no heartbeat, use cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing (CPR). Don't try to make patient vomit. If you can't get help quickly, take patient to nearest emergency facility.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose section.


    Nausea, stomach pain, vomiting.


    "Hangover" effect, clumsiness or unsteadiness, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, diarrhea.


  • Hallucinations, agitation, confusion, leukopenia (white blood cells causing sore throat and fever).
  • Hives, rash.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to chloral hydrate.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have had liver, kidney or heart trouble.
  • If you are prone to stomach upsets (if medicine is in oral form).
  • If you are allergic to tartrazine dye.
  • If you have colitis or a rectal inflammation (if medicine is in suppository form).

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons. More likely to have "hangover" effect.

Risk to unborn child outweighs drug benefits. Unborn child may become addicted to drug. Don't use.

Drug filters into milk. May harm child. Avoid.

Infants & children:
Use only under medical supervision.

Prolonged use:
Addiction and possible kidney damage.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers, sedatives, pain medicine, narcotics and mind-altering drugs.

Don't discontinue without consulting doctor. Dose may require gradual reduction if you have taken drug for a long time. Doses of other drugs may also require adjustment.

Frequent kidney-function tests recommended when drug is used for long time.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Anticoagulants*, Possible hemorrhaging.
Antidepressants* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Antihistamines* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Clozapine Toxic effect on the central nervous
Ethinamate Dangerous increased effects of
ethinamate. Avoid combining.
Fluoxetine Increased depressant effects of
both drugs.
Guanfacine May increase depressant effects of
either drug.
Leucovorin High alcohol content of leucovorin
may cause adverse effects.
MAO inhibitors* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Methyprylon Increased sedative effect, perhaps
to dangerous level. Avoid.
Mind-altering drugs* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Molindone Increased tranquilizer effect.
Nabilone Greater depression of central
nervous system.
Narcotics* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Pain relievers* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Phenothiazines* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Sedatives* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Sertraline Increased depressive effects of both
Sleep inducers* Increased chloral hydrate effect.
Tranquilizers* Increased chloral hydrate effect.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Increased sedative effect of both.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: Decreased chloral hydrate effect.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: May severely impair mental and
physical functioning. Avoid.
Tobacco: None expected.

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