Drug information of Ethchlorvynol


Ethchlorvynol is used to treat insomnia (trouble in sleeping). However, it has generally been replaced by other medicines for the treatment of insomnia. If ethchlorvynol is used regularly (for example, every day) to help produce sleep, it is usually not effective for more than 1 week.

Ethchlorvynol is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Mechanism of effect

Although the exact mechanism of action is unknown, ethchlorvynol appears to depress the central nervous system in a manner similar to that of barbiturates. Barbiturates bind at a distinct binding sites associated with a Cl- ionopore at the GABAA receptor, increasing the duration of time for which the Cl- ionopore is open. The post-synaptic inhibitory effect of GABA in the thalamus is, therefore, prolonged


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Rapidly absorbed from gastrointestinal tract.
About 90% of a dose is metabolized in the liver. Some ethchlorvynol may also be metabolized in the kidneys. Ethchlorvynol and metabolites undergo extensive enterohepatic recirculation.
Half life
Plasma half-life is approximately 10 to 20 hours, terminal half-life is 21-100 hours

Drug indications

Used for short-term hypnotic therapy in the management of insomnia for periods of up to one week in duration; however, this medication generally has been replaced by other sedative-hypnotic agents.


The dose of ethchlorvynol will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of ethchlorvynol. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

For oral dosage forms (capsules):
Adults: 500 to 1000 milligrams at bedtime.
Children: Dose must be determined by the doctor

Side effects

-Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Less common
Skin rash or hives
dizziness or faintness
unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
Darkening of urine, itching, pale stools, yellow eyes or skin
unusual bleeding or bruising
Symptoms of overdose
confusion (continuing)
decrease in or other change in vision
double vision
fever, chills, or sore throat
low body temperature
numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
overactive reflexes
pale skin
shakiness and unsteady walk, clumsiness, unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
shortness of breath or slow or troubled breathing
slow heartbeat
slurred speech
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual movements of the eyes
unusual tiredness or weakness (severe)

Aprobarbital, Benzhydrocodone, Bromazepam
Ketazolam, Lazabemide, Medazepam,Mephenesi, Periciazine


If you will be taking ethchlorvynol regularly for a long time:
Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits.
Do not stop taking it without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are taking before stopping completely

Ethchlorvynol will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that cause drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are taking ethchlorvynol

f you think you or someone else may have taken an overdose of ethchlorvynol, get emergency help at once. Taking an overdose of ethchlorvynol or taking alcohol or other CNS depressants with ethchlorvynol may lead to unconsciousness and possibly death. Some signs of an overdose are continuing confusion, severe weakness, shortness of breath or slow or troubled breathing, slurred speech, staggering, and slow heartbeat

Ethchlorvynol may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Even if taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Make sure you know how you react to ethchlorvynol before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert 

Points of recommendation

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to ethchlorvynol or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully

Studies on ethchlorvynol have been done only in adult patients and there is no specific information comparing use of ethchlorvynol in children with use in other age groups

Elderly people may be especially sensitive to the effects of ethchlorvynol. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of ethchlorvynol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Alcohol abuse (or history of)
Drug abuse or dependence (or history of)—Dependence on ethchlorvynol may develop
Kidney disease
Liver disease—Higher blood levels of ethchlorvynol may result and increase the chance of side effects
Mental depression
Porphyria—Ethchlorvynol may make the condition worse

Ethchlorvynol is best taken with food or a glass of milk to lessen the possibility of dizziness, clumsiness, or unsteadiness, which may occur shortly after you take ethchlorvynol

Pregnancy level


Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women

Breast feeding warning

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding

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