Chloral hydrate is a pharmacy drug classified as a nonbarbiturate sedative and hypnotic. Chloral hydrate has been shown to be effective in some patients who have sleep disorders. Other uses include the treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms and as a sleep or sedation inducer before surgical procedures. It works by depressing the central nervous system which then induces drowsiness. Chloral hydrate is sometimes preferred over barbiturate-type sedatives and hypnotics as chloral hydrate is less likely to decelerate the rate of breathing.
Chloral hydrate is taken by mouth with or without food. You should drink a full glass of water to reduce the possibility of upset stomach side effects. If you find that you encounter mild upset stomach, try taking chloral hydrate with food. Follow your physician's directions regarding dosage and scheduling.
Side effects may differ from person to person. Some may experience no side effects. Common side effects seen by patients who do experience side effects while using chloral hydrate are as follows:
Other side effects are possible. Observe any side effects you perceive. Always seek medical assistance if you feel it is warranted, and certainly if any side effects are increasing in intensity or seem to be persisting.
If you experience any of the following potentially serious and severe side effects contact your physician immediately:
All patients considering the use of chloral hydrate are advised to consult with their physician before beginning use.
Patients with any of the following conditions should consult with their physician before taking chloral hydrate:
Do not use chloral hydrate if you are pregnant, about to become pregnant, breast-feeding or about to begin breast-feeding unless you have talked with your physician beforehand and they have decided the use of chloral hydrate is necessary for you.
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