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Chloral Hydrate
by Erowid
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.
Causes drowsiness, and sedation/sleep at higher doses. Also inhibits respiration.
Onset #
Onset Summary Needed.
Duration #
Duration Summary Needed.
Visual Effects #
Visuals Summary Needed.
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.
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.