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Chloral Hydrate
Basics
by Erowid
DESCRIPTION #
Chloral Hydrate is a pharmaceutical sedative with CNS depressant effects similar to barbiturates. It has been used as insomnia treatment, a pre-surgery sedative, and post-surgery anesthesia (pain control). It is perhaps best known for it's reputation as 'knockout drops', especially when used or given in combination with alcohol (also called a Mickey Finn).
Dose #
Determining correct dosage is extremely important for chloral hydrate use, as overdosing can lead to death. Oral dosages (for adults) range from 250-1000 mg depending on diagnosis.
Price #
Price Summary Needed.
Chloral Hydrate is Schedule IV in the United States, making it illegal to sell without a license, and illegal to purchase or possess without a prescription.
Chemistry #
Chemistry Summary Needed.
Pharmacology #
Pharmacology Summary Needed.
Production #
Production Summary Needed.
History #
History Summary Needed.
Terminology / Slang #
The Substance:
Chloral Hydrate; Mickey; Mickey Finn; Knockout Drops.
The Experience:
No common terms known.
EFFECTS #
Causes drowsiness, and sedation/sleep at higher doses. Also inhibits respiration.
Onset #
Onset Summary Needed.
Duration #
Duration Summary Needed.
Visual Effects #
Visuals Summary Needed.
PROBLEMS #
The most common problems associated with chloral hydrate come as a result of mild overdoses. Common negative effects can include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness, diarrhea, skin rash or hives, confusion and/or hallucination (rare). Severe overdose cases can lead to convulsion, difficulty swallowing, irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular depression, reduced blood pressure, shock, coma, and death. Repeated administration may lead to liver damage.
Contraindications #
  • Chloral hydrate passes into the breast milk and may cause drowsiness in babies of mothers using it.
  • Chloral hydrate in combination with Central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicine that causes drowsiness) may increase the depressant effects of both.
  • Chloral hydrate in combination with Tricyclic antidepressants may increase the depressant effects of both.
  • Individuals with a history of heart diseases may be at higher risk.
  • Preexisting liver or kidney problems may cause an increase of chloral hydrate levels in the blood, increasing risks.
Addiction Potential #
Dependence may develop in those disposed towards addiction. Addiction is similar to alcohol dependence and can develop quickly, in a matter of weeks of regular use. Withdrawal symptoms can start within 12-24 hours after last use in those who have been using regularly. Withdrawal symptoms include weakness, nausea/vomiting, apprehension/anxiety, abdominal pains, insomnia, delirium tremons, etc.
Long Term Health Problems #
Long Term Health Problems Summary Needed.
Risk of Death #
Risk of Death Summary Needed.
CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid Basics pages are summaries of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, books, websites, and other resources. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but the field is complex and constantly changing. Information should always be verified through multiple sources.