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).
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.
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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.
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Terminology / Slang #
Chloral Hydrate; Mickey; Mickey Finn; Knockout Drops.
No common terms known.
Causes drowsiness, and sedation/sleep at higher doses. Also inhibits respiration.
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.
- 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 #
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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.