Paraldehyd, C6H12O3, is a polymer of acetaldehyd, CH3.CHO.

Properties : Paraldehyd is a colorless, transparent liquid, having a strong characteristic but not unpleasant or pungent odor, and a burning or cooling taste. It is soluble in water (1:8) and miscible in all proportions with alcohol.

Action and Uses: Paraldehyd is hypnotic and antispasmodic. It has no direct action on the circulation, except that it dilates the blood-vessels. It acts rapidly and produces a sleep which closely resembles natural sleep. It is very valuable when a rapid action is desired. The disagreeable odor of paraldehyd, persisting in the breath of the patient, interferes with its use in many cases. It may cause a habit very similar to that induced by alcohol.

Dosage: 2 c.c. or 30 minims. Preferably administered with cracked ice or ice-water.