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Noctec Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Noctec (chloral hydrate) is a hypnotic used to treat insomnia and to calm patients before surgery or other procedures. Common side effects include drowsiness, trouble waking up, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and headache.
The recommended dosage of Noctec for adults is 500 mg to 1 g, taken ½ hour before surgery, or as directed by your doctor. Noctec may interact with other medications, including oral anticoagulants, IV furosemide, and other CNS depressants. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision while taking Noctec. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Noctec should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed. This medication is excreted in human milk; use while breastfeeding may cause sedation in the infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Stopping this medication suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms.
Our Noctec (chloral hydrate) Side Effects Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Noctec Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, thinking that others wish to harm you), sleep-walking, staggering walk/loss of balance, severe dizziness, fainting.
Long-term use may cause serious stomach problems (gastritis) or kidney problems. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: vomit that looks like coffee grounds, difficult/painful swallowing, black/tarry stools, severe stomach/abdominal pain, change in the amount of urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Noctec (Chloral Hydrate)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Noctec FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Central Nervous System
Occasionally a patient becomes somnambulistic and he may be disoriented and incoherent and show paranoid behavior. Rarely, excitement, tolerance, addiction, delirium, drowsiness, staggering gait, ataxia, lightheadedness, vertigo, dizziness, nightmares, malaise, mental confusion and hallucinations have been reported.
Some patients experience gastric irritation and occasionally nausea and vomiting, flatulence, diarrhea, and unpleasant taste occur.
DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
Drug Enforcement Administration Schedule IV.
Chloral hydrate may be habit- forming. Patients known to be addiction- prone and patients who actively solicit hypnotics in increasing doses are potential addicts. Many patients take higher doses of hypnotics than they admit, and slurring of speech, incoordination, tremulousness, and nystagmus should arouse suspicion. Drowsiness, lethargy, and hangover are frequently observed from excessive drug intake.
Prolonged use of larger than usual therapeutic doses may result in psychic and physical dependence. Tolerance and psychologic dependence may develop by the second week of continued administration.
Chloral hydrate addicts may take huge doses of the drug (i.e., up to 12 g nightly has been reported). This abuse is similar to alcohol addiction and sudden withdrawal may result in central nervous excitation, with tremor, anxiety, hallucination, or even delirium which may be fatal. In patients suffering from chronic chloral hydrate intoxication, gastritis is common and skin eruptions may develop. Parenchymatous renal injury may also occur. Withdrawal should be undertaken in a hospital and supportive treatment similar to that used during barbiturate withdrawal is recommended.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Noctec (Chloral Hydrate)
Additional Noctec Information
- Noctec Drug Interactions Center: chloral hydrate oral
- Noctec Side Effects Center
- Noctec Overview including Precautions
- Noctec FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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