Chloral hydrate is used to treat sleep disorders. It is also used in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or in their prevention. It can be used as a sedative before certain treatments or to reduce the anxiety associated with treatment or abstinence from various substances that induce dependency.


What is Chloral hydrate?


Chloral hydrate is a hypnotic sedative that works by reducing the activity of the central nervous system, causing drowsiness and thus promoting sleep.


How should Chloral hydrate be taken?


Typically, Chloral hydrate is administered orally.


Side Effects associated with Chloral hydrate


Among the possible adverse effects of Chloral hydrate are included:


  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Stomach discomfort


You should immediately contact a doctor if taking Chloral hydrate triggers any of the following symptoms:


  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Chloral hydrate


Chloral hydrate cannot be used in the presence of certain kidney, liver or heart disorders or severe gastric inflammation. Its use is also contraindicated in case of taking dofetilide, antihistamines or sodium oxybate.


Chloral hydrate may impair the ability to drive or operate hazardous machinery, especially when taken together with alcohol or with other medicines. It may also cause addiction.


Before starting treatment it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, to other components or to other drugs or foods
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, citing in particular arsenic, cisapride, dofetilide, antihistamines, barbiturates, paraldehyde, sodium oxybate, diuretics and anticoagulants
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from esophageal inflammation, ulcers, blood disorders, depression or kidney, liver or heart problems
  • You have suicidal thoughts (even in the past)
  • You have substance abuse and addiction problems (even if past problems)
  • You are planning an eye surgery
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding


Lastly, during treatment it is recommended to avoid taking alcohol or drugs that cause drowsiness, such as sedatives or tranquilizers.