Chloral Hydrate (KLOR-al HYE-drate)
Treats insomnia (trouble sleeping) and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Also given before surgery or during labor to relieve anxiety.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to chloral hydrate. You should not use this medicine if you have severe heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, or swelling of your rectum or colon. You should not use this medicine if you have a history of drug addiction.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Never take rectal suppositories by mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine. Remove the foil or wrapper from the suppository before inserting it.
- To make the suppository easier to insert, you may use a lubricating gel such as K-Y® Jelly, but do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline®).
- Lie on your left side with your left leg straight or slightly bent, and your right knee bent upward. Gently push the pointed end of the suppository into the rectum about 1 inch.
- Keep lying down for about 15 minutes to keep the suppository from coming out before it melts. Then, wash your hands again.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Place the suppository in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before you unwrap and use it.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine applicator(s), containers, and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using medicine for depression such as amitriptyline, doxepin, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, or Sinequan®. Tell your doctor if you are using MAO inhibitor such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using furosemide (Lasix®), or a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
- This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- This medicine is not for long-term use.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Confusion or hallucinations.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild skin rash.
- Unusual excitement.