This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics: An Introduction to the National Treatment of Disease", by John Mitchell Bruce. Also available from Amazon: The pharmacology and therapeutics of the materia medica.
Source. - Made by passing Chlorine gas through Acetic Aldehyde, which is converted first into Crotonic Aldehyde, and then into Croton Chloral.
Characters. - Small brilliant tabular crystals, with a pungent odour, much like that of chloral hydrate, and an acrid nauseous taste. Solubility, 1 in 100 of water, freely in spirit, 1 in 4 of glycerine.
lncompatibles. - As of chloral hydrate.
Dose. - 2 to 15 gr.
In every important respect the action of butyl-chloral is nearly allied to that of chloral hydrate, and it will therefore suffice to indicate the points wherein the two drugs differ.
Butyl-chloral as a hypnotic is less rapid, less certain, and less powerful than the other, which is generally to be preferred for this purpose. It is believed that butyl-chloral is less depressant to the heart, and therefore that it may be given in insomnia with cardiac weakness where chloral hydrate would be inadmissible. We must accept this recommendation with great caution. The most important effect of butyl-chloral, peculiar to itself, is anaesthesia of the region of the trigeminus, that is, of the face and part of the scalp, preceding the hypnotism. But even this action has been disputed by good authorities. The drug relieves some cases of tic-douloureux and facial L - 8 neuralgia very quickly; in some eases it fails. It has been given in other forms of pain in the face, such as toothacho (locally); in neuralgia of the limbs; and in painful menstruation.