Medications


Chloral Hydrate suppositories

What is this medicine?

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. It is also given in combination with barbiturates during the first stage of labor to cause sedation or sleep.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for rectal use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash your hands before and after use. Take off the foil wrapping. Wet the tip of the suppository with cold tap water to make it easier to use. Lie on your side with your lower leg straightened out and your upper leg bent forward toward your stomach. Lift upper buttock to expose the rectal area. Apply gentle pressure to insert the suppository completely into the rectum, pointed end first. Hold buttocks together for a few seconds. Remain lying down for about 15 minutes to avoid having the suppository come out. Do not use more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

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

  • confusion

  • fever, chills, or sore throat

  • hallucinations, nightmares

  • staggering, tremors

  • 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):

  • diarrhea

  • dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, or 'hangover'

  • nausea, vomiting

  • stomach upset

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • disulfiram

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol

  • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures

  • furosemide

  • medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems, such as diazepam or temazepam

  • medicines for hay fever and other allergies

  • medicines for pain

  • warfarin

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply if you are using this before a procedure.

If you are using this medicine regularly and you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

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). Refrigerate suppositories at least 2 hours prior to use. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem

  • heart disease

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • mental depression

  • porphyria

  • 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

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

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 medicines 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.


NOTE:This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider. Copyright© 2018 Elsevier
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