This section is from the book "A Text-Book Of Materia Medica, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by George F. Butler. Also available from Amazon: A text-book of materia medica, pharmacology and therapeutics.
A tertiary alcohol, the chemical name being dimethylethylcarbinol.
Description and Properties. - It occurs as a limpid, colorless, neutral fluid, of a peculiar odor and burning taste. It is soluble in 8 parts of water, and miscible in all proportions with alcohol, chloroform, benzin, glycerin, and fixed oils.
Dose. - 1-2 fluidrachms (4.0-8.0 Cc).
Therapeutics. - Amylene hydrate is a useful hypnotic, intermediate in strength between paraldehyde and chloral. It is pleasanter to take than either. Many observers consider it to be safer than chloral, while its soporific effects are produced sooner, being manifested usually in from five to thirty minutes, the awakening being ordinarily prompt and complete. Amylene hydrate is best given in a mixture of wine and syrup of liquorice; if administered by rectum, it should be suspended in mucilage.
Of the ethers, other than ethyl ether, methylal and acetal have both been tried. They have both been found to depress the heart action. Methylal is very rapidly eliminated, and the hypnosis induced is of very short duration. It is given in doses of 8-15 grains (0.5-1.0 Gm.), and is also useful as a carminative.