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A 23-year-old male asked:

Old medical uses of alcohol vs paraldehyde.... whats the difference in effects between the 2?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 43 years experience
Paraldehyde & EtOH: Paraldehyde is a different chemical from ethanol, but was used to sedate in alcohol withdrawal (delirium tremens, or "dt's"). Also until the '60's, it was used for sleep in psychiatric hospitals. It's a CNS depressant like ethanol but creates a more unpleasant odor on the breath. It can be used as an anticonvulsant in status epilepticus & doesn't suppress respiration @ therapeutic doses.
Last updated Jun 10, 2014

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