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Chloral Hydrate Derivatives/Ethyl Alcohol

This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug or commencing any course of treatment.

Medical warning:

Moderate. These medicines may cause some risk when taken together. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

How the interaction occurs:

Alcohol causes your body to change chloral hydrate and medicines related to it to longer-acting forms. These longer-acting forms prevent your body from properly breaking down alcohol.

What might happen:

Using chloral hydrate or medicines like it with alcohol may lead to decreased mental and motor function. Symptoms may include excessive sedation, confusion, loss of coordination, and loss of consciousness.These medicines may also make you intolerant to alcohol. Symptoms of alcohol intolerance include flushing, throbbing in the head and neck, irregular heart beat, rapid heart beat, low blood pressure, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.

What you should do about this interaction:

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine. Alcohol is also contained in many medicines. Discuss the amount of alcohol in your medicines with your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist).If you notice any new or worse side effects, contact your healthcare professional. Your doctor may want to change your medicines.Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.


1.Sellers EM, Lang M, Koch-Weser J, LeBlanc E, Kalant H. Interaction of chloral hydrate and ethanol in man. I. Metabolism. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1972 Jan-Feb;13(1):37-49.
2.Sellers EM, Carr G, Bernstein JG, Sellers S, Koch-Weser J. Interaction of chloral hydrate and ethanol in man. II. Hemodynamics and performance. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1972 Jan-Feb;13(1):50-8.
3.Gessner PK, Cabana BE. Chloral alcoholate: reevaluation of its role in the interaction between the hypnotic effects of chloral hydrate and ethanol. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1967 Jun;156(3):602-5.
4.Asmussen E, Hald J, Larsen V. The pharmacological action of acetaldehyde on the human organism. Acta Pharmacol 1948;4:311-20.

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