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Chloral hydrate Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to chloral hydrate: oral capsules, oral solution, rectal suppositories

Side effects include:

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ataxia, dizziness.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to chloral hydrate: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral syrup, rectal suppository


Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea have been the most frequent side effects associated with the use of chloral hydrate.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects including ataxia and dizziness have been reported. Residual sedation has been reported infrequently following usual hypnotic doses. A somnambulistic reaction characterized by disorientation and incoherence has been reported rarely.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects including scarlatiniform or erythematous rash, urticaria, angioedema, purpura, eczema, bullous lesions, and erythema multiforme have been reported.[Ref]


1. "PDR Generics." Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics (1995):

Not all side effects for chloral hydrate may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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