1 What is Diformil?

Brand: Diformil

Generic: Paraldehyde

Brand name:


Paraldehyde is a hypnotic and sedative used for the treatment of certain convulsive disorders, alcoholism, and nervous and mental conditions to calm or relax patients who are nervous or tense and to produce sleep.

Safer and more effective drugs have replaced paraldehyde for the treatment of alcoholism and in the treatment of nervous and mental conditions. This drug requires a prescription.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before taking this drug, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. This drug is not anticipated to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

It is still unknown whether this drug works exactly the same way in younger adults or if it causes different side effects or problems in older people. Data comparing the use of paraldehyde in the elderly with use in other age groups are still unavailable.

Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as Disulfiram, Fospropofol, Propofol, or Ginkgo. Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects.

Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as:

3 Proper Usage

To prevent any side effects, take this drug exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional.

Do not use this drug if you notice any signs of breakdown in the drug such as the brownish color of the liquid or if it has a strong vinegar-like odor. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

Using a plastic spoon, plastic glass, or any other plastic container to take this drug is not recommended to prevent any reaction of this drug with the plastic. Using a metal spoon or glass container is recommended.

Take this drug mixed in a glass of milk or iced fruit juice to improve the taste and odor and to lessen stomach upset. Before using paraldehyde rectally, make sure you understand exactly how to use it.

Paraldehyde may need to be diluted. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional. Keep this drug away from the eyes and avoid getting it on the skin and clothing.

Keep this drug away from heat, open flame, and sparks. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed.

The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug. The dose in adults using the oral and rectal dosage forms must be determined by a healthcare professional.

The dose in children is based on body weight, and must be determined by the healthcare professional. The dose in adults using the injection dosage form must be determined by your healthcare professional.

It will be injected into a muscle or a vein. The dose in children is based on body weight, and must be determined by the healthcare professional. A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible.

However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose. Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Check with your healthcare professional before you stop using it.

Your healthcare professional may slowly taper the amount you are using before stopping completely.

This drug will potentiate the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants such as:

  • antihistamines or drug for hay fever
  • other allergies or colds
  • sedatives
  • tranquilizers or sleeping drug
  • prescription pain drug or narcotics
  • barbiturates
  • a drug for seizures
  • muscle relaxants or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics

Check with your healthcare professional before taking any of the above whiles you are using this drug.

Inform the healthcare professional in charge that you are taking this drug before having any medical tests, since results of some tests, such as the metyrapone test and the phentolamine test, may be affected by this drug.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of an overdose such confusion, muscle tremors, nausea or vomiting, severe stomach cramps, severe weakness, shortness of breath or slow or troubled breathing, and slow heartbeat.

This drug can cause drowsiness or reduced alertness. This drug may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising even if it is taken at bedtime.

Be careful in using this drug before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous.

5 Potential Side Effects

Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear.

Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional.

Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.