Chloral hydrate (Aquachloral, Somnos, Noctec)

(surfing gossip sites to avoid studying anatomy)..."Oh look, Mel Gibson went nutso again, turns out that Anna Nicole Smith overdosed on chloral hydrate, and Lindsay Lohan has a...WAIT, HOLD THE PHONE! A drug in the news (okay, admittedly the entertainment 'news') is a blog post in the making. Let's do this thing.

  • oral sedative (calms you down) and hypnotic (puts you to sleep)
  • one of the first synthetic drugs (made in a lab in 1832) and definitely the first synthetic CNS depressant
  • rapidly converted by hepatocytes (liver cells) and erythrocytes (red blood cells) into trichloroethanol, the active form of the drug
  • widely used up until the middle of the 20th century, after which it found limited use as a sedative, having been largely displaced by the barbiturates and benzodiazepines
  • since the 1990s it has been used primarily in pediatrics to sedate children prior to minor surgery as part of dental or diagnostic procedures (I have no idea how Ms. Smith got her hands on it)
  • moderately addictive (does this sound inviting or what? I'm all like, I can totally handle something that is only moderately addictive)
  • serious toxic effects of overdose include cardiac arrhythmias (your heart beat goes all bad drummer on you) cardiac and respiratory depression (heart slows down, breathing slows, both eventually stop), and convulsions (or, as I like to call them, the jumpities)
  • is genotoxic and potentially carcinogenic
  • is soluble in alcohol, enabling its use as the active ingredient in a Mickey Finn
    • the first date rape drug (besides alcohol, other favourites include: GHB, flunitrazepam, and ketamine)
- Salmon AG, Kizer KW, Zeise L, Jackson RJ, Smith MT. Potential carcinogenicity of chloral hydrate--a review. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1995;33(2):115-21.
- Sing K, Erickson T, Amitai Y, Hryhorczuk D. Chloral hydrate toxicity from oral and intravenous administration. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1996;34(1):101-6.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloral_hydrate

1 chemically inspired comments:

C.D. Clements said...

I generally advise not holding the proverbial phone very long.
This practice is known to fill the proverbial voice mail.

Also here is a poem I wrote:

How is the end of semester rush going? hopefully well…

I have a big term paper to start today.

If my thesis is wrong, we could all be potentially going to hell.

But in the mean time there is the new Wii play (game) to play.

-written in response to your commentary on procrastination.