Chloral hydrate

chloralHoyer's mounting mediumKnock-Out DropsNoctec
Chloral hydrate is a geminal diol with the formula C 2 H 3 Cl 3 O 2 .wikipedia
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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.

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.


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 hydrate
Chloral hydrate is a geminal diol with the formula C 2 H 3 Cl 3 O 2 . It is a colorless solid.
chloral hydrate.


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.

Recreational drug use

recreational drugdrug usedrugs
It was widely used recreationally and misprescribed in the late 19th century.
chloral hydrate

Melzer's reagent

iodineiodine stain
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.

Medical prescription

It was widely used recreationally and misprescribed in the late 19th century.


alcoholbioethanolethyl alcohol
It was discovered in 1832 by Justus von Liebig in Gießen when a chlorination (halogenation) reaction was performed on ethanol.
"An intermediate in the reaction with chlorine is the aldehyde called chloral, which forms chloral hydrate upon reaction with water:

Date rape drug

date rape drugsdate-rape drugstupefying
Its properties have sometimes led to its use as a date rape drug.
Other drugs used in DFSA 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 testiodoform 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

slidecover slipmicroscopic slide
Chloral hydrate is also an ingredient used for Hoyer's solution, a mounting medium for microscopic observation of diverse plant types such as bryophytes, ferns, seeds, and small arthropods (especially mites).
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
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) regularly used chloral hydrate in the years leading up to his nervous breakdown, according to Lou Salome and other associates. Whether the drug contributed to his insanity is a point of controversy.
In 1883, while staying in Nice, he was writing out his own prescriptions for the sedative chloral hydrate, signing them "Dr. Nietzsche".

Oscar 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.
Chloral hydrate, a sedative-hypnotic


Jonestown massacreJonestown, GuyanaJonestown deaths
The Jonestown mass suicides in 1978, involved the communal drinking of Flavor Aid poisoned with Valium, chloral hydrate, cyanide, and Phenergan.
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 Mirthnovel of the same namesame 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
Disulfiram-like drug
Chloral hydrate

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

RossettiPoemsDante Gabriel
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882) became addicted to chloral, with whisky chasers, after the death of his wife Elizabeth Siddal from a laudanum overdose in 1862. He had a mental breakdown in 1872. He lived out the last ten years of his life addicted to chloral and alcohol, in part to mask the pain of botched surgery to an enlarged testicle in 1877.
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".

Marilyn Monroe

MarilynMonroeM. Monroe
Marilyn Monroe (1926–1962) died from an overdose of chloral hydrate and pentobarbital (Nembutal).
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

TyndallJ TyndallProfessor Tyndal
Irish physicist John Tyndall (1820–1893) died of an accidental overdose of chloral administered by his wife.
In his last years Tyndall often took chloral hydrate to treat his insomnia.


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


HH 2 hydrogen gas
Chloral hydrate is a geminal diol with the formula C 2 H 3 Cl 3 O 2 . It is a colorless solid.