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What should I know about chloral hydrate before taking it?

People who have allergies to the ingredients in chloral hydrate, serious stomach inflammation, or problems with their liver, kidney, or heart should not take chloral hydrate. If you use sodium oxybate, dofetilide, or H1 antagonists, you should not use chloral hydrate. Pregnant and breast-feeding women should discuss with their doctor the potential risks to a developing fetus or nursing infant, before using chloral hydrate. Older children may also be at risk if they are given this drug. Taking drugs, such as arsenic, H1 antagonists, dofetilide, barbiturates, sodium oxybate, and paraldehyde, at the same time as chloral hydrate may increase the chances for side effects, including heart problems. Loop diuretics may cause blood pressure changes and increased heart rate, while anticoagulants' effects may be increased, decreased, or changed entirely. Even if you do not fit into any of the above-mentioned groups, you are still at risk for increased dizziness or drowsiness; alcohol increases these effects, so avoid it until your doctor approves. You may also experience dependence or withdrawal while or after using this drug; see a doctor if you feel very ill after using chloral hydrate. You should talk to your doctor about any medical conditions you have or have had in the past, including ulcers, esophagus inflammation, blood diseases or disorders, mental problems, addiction, dependence, substance abuse problems, suicidal tendencies, depression, and allergies. Tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements that you are taking, before taking chloral hydrate.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.