Chloral hydrate

chloralNoctecHoyer's mounting mediumSomnote
Chloral hydrate is a geminal diol with the formula C 2 H 3 Cl 3 O 2.wikipedia
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Mickey Finn (drugs)

Mickey FinnspikedMickey
A solution of chloral hydrate in ethanol called "knockout drops" was used to prepare a Mickey Finn.
In slang, a Mickey Finn—or simply a Mickey—is a drink laced with a psychoactive drug or incapacitating agent (especially chloral hydrate) given to someone without their knowledge, with intent to incapacitate them.


chloral hydrate
It is derived from chloral (trichloroacetaldehyde) by the addition of one equivalent of water.
It reacts with water to form chloral hydrate, a once widely used sedative and hypnotic substance.


sleeping pillssleeping pillsoporific
It has limited use as a sedative and hypnotic pharmaceutical drug.
Treatment for insomnia in psychiatry dates back to 1869 when chloral hydrate was first used as a soporific.

Geminal diol

carbonyl hydrategeminal
Chloral hydrate is a geminal diol with the formula C 2 H 3 Cl 3 O 2.


trichloromethanechloroformedCHCl 3
It is, together with chloroform, a minor side-product of the chlorination of water when organic residues such as humic acids are present. In basic conditions the haloform reaction takes place and chloral hydrate is decomposed by hydrolysis to form chloroform.
Deuterochloroform can be prepared by the reaction of sodium deuteroxide with chloral hydrate.

Melzer's reagent

iodineiodine stainMeltzer's iodine
Chloral hydrate is an ingredient used to make Melzer's reagent, an aqueous solution that is used to identify certain species of fungi.
Melzer's reagent is an aqueous solution of chloral hydrate, potassium iodide, and iodine.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

RossettiDante RossettiD. G. Rossetti
One notable recreational user, for instance, was the poet and illustrator Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The savage reaction of critics to Rossetti's first collection of poetry contributed to a mental breakdown in June 1872, and although he joined Jane Morris at Kelmscott that September, he "spent his days in a haze of chloral and whisky".


alcoholbioethanolethyl alcohol
It was discovered in 1832 by Justus von Liebig in Gießen when a chlorination (halogenation) reaction was performed on ethanol.

Date rape drug

date rape drugsdate-rape drugdrug
Its properties have sometimes led to its use as a date rape drug.
Other drugs that have been used include hypnotics such as zopiclone, methaqualone and the widely available zolpidem (Ambien), sedatives such as neuroleptics (anti-psychotics), chloral hydrate and some histamine H1 antagonists, common recreational drugs such as ethanol, cocaine, and less common anticholinergics, barbiturates, opioids, PCP, scopolamine, nasal spray ingredient oxymetazoline, and certain solvents like GHB, GBL, and BD.

Haloform reaction

Iodoform reactioniodoform testLieben iodoform reaction
In basic conditions the haloform reaction takes place and chloral hydrate is decomposed by hydrolysis to form chloroform.
At least in some cases (chloral hydrate) the reaction may stop and the intermediate product isolated if conditions are acidic and hypohalite is used.

Microscope slide

cover slipslidemicroscopic slide
More reputable uses of chloral hydrate include as a clearing agent for chitin and fibers and as a key ingredient in Hoyer's mounting medium, which is used to prepare permanent or semipermanent microscope slides of small organisms, histological sections, and chromosome squashes.
Popular mounting media include Permount, and Hoyer's mounting medium and an alternative glycerine jelly Properties of a good mounting medium include having a refractive index close to that of glass (1.518), non-reactivity with the specimen, stability over time without crystallizing, darkening, or changing refractive index, solubility in the medium the specimen was prepared in (either aqueous or non-polar, such as xylene or toluene), and not causing the specimen stain to fade or leach.


In humans it is metabolized within 7 hours into trichloroethanol and trichloroethanol glucuronide by erythrocytes and plasma esterases and into trichloroacetic acid in 4 to 5 days.
In humans, its pharmacological effects are similar to those of its prodrugs, chloral hydrate and chlorobutanol.

Friedrich Nietzsche

NietzscheNietzscheanFriedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
In 1883, while staying in Nice, he was writing out his own prescriptions for the sedative chloral hydrate, signing them "Dr. Nietzsche".

Oscar Liebreich

Oskar Liebreich
In 1869, German physician and pharmacologist Oscar Liebreich began to promote its use to calm anxiety, especially when it caused insomnia.
He is well known for his investigations pertaining to the sedative and hypnotic properties of chloral hydrate (1869), and was an important factor in the drugs' popularity during the latter half of the 19th century.

Controlled Substances Act

Schedule ISchedule IISchedule III
In the United States, chloral hydrate is a schedule IV controlled substance and requires a physician's prescription.


Jonestown MassacreJonestown, GuyanaPeoples Temple Agricultural Project
For some members who attempted to escape, drugs such as Thorazine, sodium pentathol, chloral hydrate, Demerol, and Valium were administered in an "extended care unit".


Chlorobutanol (trichloro-2-methyl-2-propanol) is a preservative, sedative, hypnotic and weak local anesthetic similar in nature to chloral hydrate.

The House of Mirth

House of MirthLily Bartnovel of the same name
In the conclusion of Edith Wharton's 1905 novel The House of Mirth, Lily Bart, the novel's heroine, becomes addicted to chloral hydrate and overdoses on the substance:
Distraught by her misfortunes, Lily has by this time begun regularly using a sleeping draught of chloral hydrate to escape the pain of poverty and social ostracism.

Disulfiram-like drug

alcohol unpalatable to the patientalcohol-deterrent drug

Hank Williams

Hank Williams Sr.Hank Williams, Sr.Luke the Drifter
Under the name of Dr. C. W. Lemon he prescribed Williams with amphetamines, Seconal, chloral hydrate, and morphine, which made his heart problems worse.

Marilyn Monroe

MarilynMonroeM. Monroe
She had 8 mg% (milligrams per 100 milliliters of solution) chloral hydrate and 4.5 mg% of pentobarbital (Nembutal) in her blood, and 13 mg% of pentobarbital in her liver.

John Tyndall

TyndallJohn Tyndall FellowshipJ Tyndall
In his last years Tyndall often took chloral hydrate to treat his insomnia.

Combined drug intoxication

toxic combination of prescription drugsAcute drug intoxicationacute intoxication
Her two autopsies detected more than 11 drugs in her bloodstream, including chloral hydrate, clonazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, diazepam, diphenhydramine, topiramate, oseltamivir, ciprofloxacin, methocarbamol, carisoprodol and others.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna NicoleVirgie ArthurAnna Nicole Smith wins $88 million lawsuit
Perper announced that Smith died of "combined drug intoxication" with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the "major component."


Ccarbonaceouscarbon atom
Chloral hydrate is a geminal diol with the formula C 2 H 3 Cl 3 O 2.