WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Anaesthesia
(1989; 60 pages) [French] Ver el documento en el formato PDF
Índice de contenido
Ver el documentoPreface
Ver el documentoIntroduction
Cerrar esta carpetaPremedication
Ver el documentoAtropine
Ver el documentoChloral hydrate
Ver el documentoDiazepam
Ver el documentoPromethazine
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoGeneral anaesthetics and oxygen
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoLocal anaesthetics
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoNon-opioid analgesics
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoOpioid analgesics and antagonists
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoMuscle relaxants and cholinesterase inhibitors
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoBlood substitutes
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoSolutions for correcting water and electrolyte imbalance
Abrir esta carpeta y ver su contenidoAntacid for use in obstetric practice
Ver el documentoAnaesthesia at the District Hospital
Ver el documentoSelected WHO publications of related interest
Ver el documentoBack cover

Chloral hydrate

Group: sedative
Syrup: 200 mg in 5 ml

General information

Chloral hydrate is a sedative and hypnotic. The depressant effect on the central nervous system is believed to be due to an active metabolite, trichloroethanol. Its mechanism of action is unknown.

Chloral hydrate is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract following oral or rectal administration. The depressant effect, which is evident within 30 minutes to 1 hour, persists for 6 to 8 hours. It is metabolized in the liver to the active metabolite trichloroethanol, which is subsequently excreted in the urine. The plasma half-life is 7 to 10 hours.

Clinical information


Preoperative medication to allay anxiety and to produce sedation.

Dosage and administration

Adults and children: 30 mg/kg 30 minutes before surgery.


• Known hypersensitivity to chloral hydrate.
• Hepatic or renal impairment.


The dosage should be reduced in patients with cardiac disease.

Ambulatory patients should be warned that chloral hydrate may impair their ability to drive or operate machinery for up to 24 hours.

Use in pregnancy

Chloral hydrate should be used during pregnancy only when the need outweighs any potential risk to the fetus.

Adverse effects

Gastric irritation is the most frequent adverse effect. Skin rashes may also occur.

Drug interactions

The hypoprothrombinaemic effect of coumarin anticoagulants may be intensified if such drugs are given concurrently with chloral hydrate.


Signs of overdose include increasing confusion, severe drowsiness leading to coma, hypotension, hypothermia and respiratory depression.


Induction of emesis or gastric lavage may be of value if undertaken within a few hours of ingestion. Otherwise, reliance must be placed on supportive measures such as maintenance of circulatory volume and mechanically assisted respiration.


Chloral hydrate syrup should be stored in tightly closed containers protected from light, below 25°C.

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