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paraldehyde(pârăl`dəhīd'), nervous system depressantdepressant,
any one of various substances that diminish functional activity, usually by depressing the nervous system. Barbiturates, sedatives, alcohol, and meprobamate are all depressants. Depressants have various modes of action and effects.
..... Click the link for more information. similar to alcohol in its effects and used as a sedativesedative,
any of a variety of drugs that relieve anxiety. Most sedatives act as mild depressants of the nervous system, lessening general nervous activity or reducing the irritability or activity of a specific organ.
..... Click the link for more information. . A colorless flammable liquid with a disagreeable odor, paraldehyde produces sleep for up to 12 hr. with little or no muscle, heart, or respiratory depression. It is often given to alcoholics having delirium tremens, to induce sleep, and is also used to calm psychiatric patients. Like alcohol and other depressants it is addictive (see drug addiction and drug abusedrug addiction and drug abuse,
chronic or habitual use of any chemical substance to alter states of body or mind for other than medically warranted purposes. Traditional definitions of addiction, with their criteria of physical dependence and withdrawal (and often an underlying
..... Click the link for more information. ). Paraldehyde is also used in the manufacture of synthetic resins, as a preservative, and in preparing leather. It is produced by treating acetaldehyde with a small amount of sulfuric acid.
a trimer of acetaldehyde. Colorless liquid, boiling point 1240C. The structure of paraldehyde is
The compound readily depolymerizes upon heating with a small quantity of sulfuric acid, and is thus a convenient storage form of acetaldehyde. Paraldehyde exhibits a weak narcotic effect.