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What are sedative-hypnotics?

Sedative-hypnotics are drugs that depress or slow down the body's functions. Most stimulate the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Sedative-hypnotics are used for a variety of medical purposes, most notably to quell anxiety, produce calm, and to promote sleep. They are also sometimes used as anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants. Both barbiturates and tranquilizers are sedative-hypnotics. Two common sedative-hypnotics are methaqualone and chloral hydrates.



What is methaqualone?

Also known as quaalude and lude, Methaqualone is a sedative-hypnotic originally prescribed to reduce anxiety during the day or to act as a sleeping aid. This drug is a central nervous system depressant similar to a barbiturate.


How is methaqualone used?

Methaqualone is almost exclusively ingested as a pill. In the 1970s, it was a popular college pastime to combine methaqualone with wine, in a process known as "luding out".


What are methaqualone's effects?

Methaqualone causes a reduction in heart and breathing rate and blood pressure. Small doses tend to induce euphoria. Larger doses can bring about depression, irrational behavior, poor reflexes and slurred speech.


What are some of methaqualone's side effects?

Frequent use of methaqualone results in rather rapid tolerance. Users have to increase their dose to achieve the original high, and overdoses of methaqualone can often be fatal. Methaqualone is both physically and psychologically addictive. Withdrawal from methaqualone can be more intense than withdrawal from heroin.


What are some of methaqualone's street names?

Methaqualone is also known as Quaalude, Lude, and Sopor

Chloral Hydrate

What is chloral hydrate?

Chloral hydrate, also known as Noctec, is the oldest of the sedative hypnotics. It produces effects similar to other sedative-hypnotics but is primarily used to induce sleep.


How is chloral hydrate used?

Chloral hydrate is marketed as a syrup or a soft gelatin capsule. It takes effect in a relatively short time (30 minutes) and will induce sleep in about an hour. A solution of chloral hydrate and alcohol is often known as a "knockout drop" or a "Mickey Finn".


What are chloral hydrate's effects?

At therapeutic doses, chloral hydrate has little effect on respiration and blood pressure. At a toxic dose, however, it produces severe respiratory depression and very low blood pressure. Chloral hydrate is both psychologically and physically addictive.