One of the earliest know sedatives, chloral hydrate has developed a reputation over the years as a useful end of life drug. It’s contin- ues availability (often requiring a medical prescription) has led to a number of questions on Exit Forums about the drugs usefulness as an agent for a peaceful and reliable death). This information is summarised here.
The drug was first synthesised in 1832 by chlorinating alcohol in acid and shortly after this the drug’s sedative properties were realised. Its solubility in alcohol saw it being used as an early form of ‘knockout drops’ or date-rape drug. The drugs infamous use as the so called Micky Finn in Chicago’s Lone Star Saloon in the early 1900s drew attention to its possible use as a drug to peacefully end life.
Chloral Hydrate still finds some use as a pre-operative sedative agent, often used in paediatrics, as a means of settling the child before surgical or dental procedure. It is marketed as a syrup, usu- ally in the concentration of 100mg/ ml, or as gelatine capsules