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chloral hydrate (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking chloral hydrate (Somnote)?

Do not use this medication if you have severe kidney or liver disease.

Before taking chloral hydrate, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease or heart rhythm problems;
  • ulcer, colitis, or other stomach disorders;
  • adenoids, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • porphyria;
  • depression or mental illness;
  • thoughts of suicide; or
  • a history of drug abuse or dependence.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use chloral hydrate, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Chloral hydrate can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

This medication may be habit-forming. You may have severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when you stop using chloral hydrate after using it for 2 weeks or longer. Do not stop using this medication suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to gradually reduce the dose.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the sedative effects of chloral hydrate.

How should I take chloral hydrate (Somnote)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Chloral hydrate should be given only for a short time, such as 2 to 7 days in a row.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Measure the liquid form of chloral hydrate with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Dilute the liquid medicine with water, fruit juice, milk, or ginger ale to make it easier on your stomach.

If you take chloral hydrate as a sleep aid, take it just before bedtime.

If you take this medication as a sedative, take it after meals as directed by your doctor.

Do not crush, chew, or open a chloral hydrate capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using chloral hydrate.

Do not stop using chloral hydrate without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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