Chloral Hydrate

For some people, sleep disturbances and disorders can become so problematic that sleep aids are needed. Chloral hydrate is a medication used to treat insomnia and to improve problems with nighttime sleep disturbances.

It may be taken dissolved in water or as a suppository, meaning that the medication is inserted rectally, which is one of the fastest methods of getting medicine into the bloodstream. Chloral hydrate is a hypnotic and sedative. It works by depressing the central nervous system, thus causing drowsiness and helps you to fall asleep.

Chloral Hydrate Side Effects and Precautions

Like many other prescription medications, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of and discuss with your doctor. These include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Stomach upset
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth

More serious, but less rare side effects that you might see include:

  • Confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Loss of coordination
  • Fainting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin

This medication should be used with great caution in people who have:

  • Heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Allergies, especially drug allergies
  • Frequently consume alcohol

This medication is potentially dangerous for those who are elderly and should not be used by breastfeeding mothers. This drug may cause false results with certain types of diabetic urine testing kits and products, if you have diabetes you must discuss this with your doctor as well.

Chloral hydrate may interact with certain drugs, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter. All drugs that are taken while using this medication should be considered carefully for safety and discussed with your doctor. It is important to tell your doctor everything that you are taking, including herbal medications and over-the-counter sleep aids.

Essential further reading:

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