Chloral hydrate syrup

Pronunciation

Generic Name: chloral hydrate (KLOR-al HYE-drate)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Chloral hydrate syrup is used for:

Treating sleep disorders. It may be used to prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal or to treat existing withdrawal symptoms. It may also be used to produce sedation or sleep before certain procedures, or to relieve anxiety due to certain procedures or substance withdrawal. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Chloral hydrate syrup is a nonbarbiturate sedative and hypnotic. It works by depressing the central nervous system (brain). This causes drowsiness and helps you fall asleep. It is less likely to cause a slower breathing rate than barbiturate-type sedatives/hypnotics.

Do NOT use chloral hydrate syrup if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in chloral hydrate syrup
  • you have moderate to severe liver or kidney problems, severe heart problems, or severe inflammation of your stomach
  • you are currently taking dofetilide, H1 antagonists (eg, astemizole, terfenadine), or sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Need To Catch Some Shut-Eye? Tips on Getting the Sleep You Need

Before using chloral hydrate syrup:

Some medical conditions may interact with chloral hydrate syrup. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have an inflammation of the esophagus, an ulcer, a blood disorder (eg, porphyria), or you have a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or substance abuse or dependence

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with chloral hydrate syrup. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Arsenic, cisapride, dofetilide, or H1 antagonists (eg, astemizole, terfenadine) because side effects, such as serious heart problems, may occur
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), paraldehyde, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Loop diuretics (eg, furosemide) because unexpected side effects, such as fast heart rate and changing blood pressure, may occur
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because actions and side effects may be altered by chloral hydrate syrups

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if chloral hydrate syrup may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use chloral hydrate syrup:

Use chloral hydrate syrup as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Chloral hydrate syrup may be taken with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • Mix chloral hydrate syrup in half a glass of water, fruit juice, or ginger ale just before taking it. Be sure you take the entire dose.
  • Take chloral hydrate syrup with a full glass of water or other liquid to reduce stomach upset.
  • If you miss a dose of chloral hydrate syrup and you are taking it regularly, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use chloral hydrate syrup.

Important safety information:

  • Chloral hydrate syrup may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to chloral hydrate syrup. Using chloral hydrate syrup alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking chloral hydrate syrup. Chloral hydrate syrup will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using chloral hydrate syrup during pregnancy. Chloral hydrate syrup is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using chloral hydrate syrup, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Chloral hydrate syrup may be habit-forming and lead to DEPENDENCE if used in high doses or for a long period of time. If you are on long-term or high dosage therapy, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms (eg, convulsions, tremor, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating) if you suddenly stop taking chloral hydrate syrup. Do not stop therapy abruptly or change dosage without asking your pharmacist or doctor. Discuss overuse with your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible side effects of chloral hydrate syrup:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness upon awakening; gas; nausea; unpleasant taste in mouth; upset stomach.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); disorientation; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include decreased pupil size; slow or fast and shallow breathing; vomiting.

Proper storage of chloral hydrate syrup:

Store chloral hydrate syrup at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep chloral hydrate syrup out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about chloral hydrate syrup, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Chloral hydrate syrup is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take chloral hydrate syrup or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about chloral hydrate syrup. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to chloral hydrate syrup. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using chloral hydrate syrup.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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