CHLORAL HYDRATE (klor al HI drate) is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. This medicine may also be used to decrease anxiety or make you sleep before a procedure or test. It also helps prevent or treat some of the symptoms caused by alcohol withdrawal.
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals after meals or as directed. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. If you have been taking this medicine regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get severe side effects. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
fever, chills, or sore throat
unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, or 'hangover'
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures
medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems, such as diazepam or temazepam
medicines for hay fever and other allergies
medicines for pain
This does not apply if you are taking this before a procedure.
If you are taking this medicine regularly and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
stomach or intestinal disease or digestive problems
an unusual or allergic reaction to chloral hydrate, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. This medicine is for short-term periods of use. If you have been taking it regularly for some time, do not stop suddenly or you may get severe side effects. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice. If you are taking this medicine for insomnia, talk to your doctor if you still have trouble sleeping within 7 to 10 days of using this medicine. This may mean there is another cause for your sleep problems.
After taking this medicine for sleep, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may have no memory of the event. Activities such as driving a car ("sleep-driving"), making and eating food, talking on the phone, sexual activity, and sleep-walking have been reported. Call your doctor right away if you find out you have done any of these activities. Do not take this medicine if you drink alcohol or have taken another medicine for sleep, since your risk of doing these sleep-related activities will be increased.
If this medicine is being used for insomnia, do not take it unless you are able to stay in bed for a full night (7 to 8 hours) before you must be active again. You may have a decrease in mental alertness the day after use, even if you feel that you are fully awake. Tell your doctor if you will need to perform activities requiring full alertness, such as driving, the next day. Do not stand or sit up quickly after taking this medicine, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
If you or your family notice any changes in your behavior, such as new or worsening depression, thoughts of harming yourself, anxiety, other unusual or disturbing thoughts, or memory loss, call your doctor right away.