Toxic or Tolerant: Chloral and the Drug Dilemma

    Volume 22, Issue 1 (January 1977)

    ISSN: 0022-1198


    Published Online: 1 January 1977

    Page Count: 2

    Jindrich, EJ
    Coroner, Matin County, San Rafael, Calif.

    (Received 23 September 1975; accepted 17 June 1976)


    Chloral hydrate, discovered in 1832, is considered to be the first synthetic organic compound effectively used as a hypnotic [1]. Its relative safety gained it great popularity, and reports of administering up to 25 g in a 20-h period have been published [2]. Dependency potential was recognized early, and many notable individuals including the philosopher Nietzsche became habituated. Individual case histories have documented persons taking almost 25 g nightly over prolonged periods of time [3] but little has been published on actual blood concentrations in such apparently tolerant individuals. The following case exemplifies some of the problems encountered in certifying a death in a person using relatively large amounts of chloral hydrate.

    Paper ID: JFS10392J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10392J

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    Title Toxic or Tolerant: Chloral and the Drug Dilemma
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30