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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? Yes
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Sleep inducer (hypnotic)


    Treatment of insomnia for short periods. Prolonged use is not recommended.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Capsules--Take with food or milk to lessen side effects.

When to take:
At or near bedtime.

If you forget a dose:
Bedtime dose--If you forget your once-a- day bedtime dose, don't take it more than 3 hours late.

What drug does:
Affects brain centers that control waking and sleeping.

Time lapse before drug works:
30 to 60 minutes.

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


Excitement, delirium, incoordination, shortness of breath, slow heartbeat, excessive drowsiness, deep 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.


  • Indigestion, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain.
  • Blurred vision, dizziness.
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth, fatigue, weakness.


    Jitters, clumsiness, unsteadiness, drowsiness, confusion, rash, hives, unusual bleeding or bruising, facial numbness.


    Slow heartbeat, difficult breathing, fainting, jaundice, slurred speech, trembling, uncontrolled eye movements.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You are allergic to any hypnotic.
  • You have porphyria.
  • Patient is younger than 12.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you plan to become pregnant within medication period.
  • If you have kidney or liver disease.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects, especially a "hangover" effect, may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Risk to unborn child outweighs drug benefits. Don't use.

No problems expected, but observe child and ask doctor for guidance.

Infants & children:
Not recommended.

Prolonged use:
Impaired vision.

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.


  • 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.
  • Many side effects may occur when you stop taking this drug, including irritability, muscle twitching, hallucinations or seizures. Consult your doctor.

No problems expected.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Anticoagulants*, Decreased anti-
oral coagulant effect.
Antidepressants, Delirium and deep
tricyclic (TCA)* sedation.
Antihistamines* Increased antihistamine 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 sedation.
Methyprylon Increased sedative effect, perhaps
to dangerous level. Avoid.
Molindone Increased sedative effect.
Nabilone Greater depression of central
nervous system.
Narcotics* Increased narcotic effect.
Pain relievers* Increased effect of pain reliever.
Sedatives* Increased sedative effect.
Sertraline Increased depressive effects of
both drugs.
Tranquilizers* Increased tranquilizer effect.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Excessive depressant and sedative
effect. Avoid.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: Decreased ethchlorvynol effect.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: Occasional use--Drowsiness,
unsteadiness, depressed function.
Frequent use--Severe drowsiness,
impaired physical and mental
Tobacco: None expected.

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