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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 113-18-8
ATC code N05CM08
PubChem 3281
DrugBank APRD00958
Chemical data
Formula C7H9ClO 
Mol. mass 144.598 g/mol
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Protein binding 35-50%
Metabolism  ?
Half life  ?
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status

Schedule IV[1]

Routes Oral

Ethchlorvynol is a sedative and hypnotic drug. It has been used to treat insomnia, but has been largely superseded and is only offered where an intolerance or allergy to other drugs exists.

Along with expected sedative effects of relaxation and drowsiness ethchlorvynol can cause skin rashes, faintness, restlessness and euphoria. Early adjustment side effects can include nausea and vomiting, numbness, blurred vision, stomach pains and temporary dizziness. An overdose is marked by confusion, fever, peripheral numbness and weakness, reduced coordination and muscle control, slurred speech, reduced heartbeat.

It is addictive and after prolonged use can cause withdrawal symptoms including convulsions, hallucinations, and memory loss. Due to these problems, it is unusual for ethchlorvynol to be prescribed for periods exceeding seven days.

Ethchlorvynol is a member of the class of sedative-hypnotic tertiary carbinols, which includes methylparafynol. It is not a barbituric acid derivative. The systematic name of ethchlorvynol is usually given as ethyl 2-chlorovinyl ethynyl carbinol or 1-chloro-3-ethyl-1-penten-4-yl-3-ol. Its empirical formula is C7H9ClO. In the United States Abbott Laboratories used to sell it under the tradename Placidyl. During their heyday, they were known on the street as "jelly-bellies". Since Abbott and Banner Pharmacaps, which manufactured the generic version, discontinued production in 1999, ethchlorvynol is no longer available in the United States.

Ethchlorvynol as it relates to William Rehnquist

 Placidyl is the drug prescribed for William Rehnquist as treatment of insomnia after back surgery in 1971, according to FBI files obtained after Rehnquist's death. Before he was hospitalized in 1981, court employees noticed that Rehnquist's speech was slurred and that he seemed to be having mental lapses. The hospital doctors took him off the medication, causing withdrawal symptoms, which included hallucinations.[2]

One of the physicians who treated Rehnquist for Placidyl withdrawal, according to the FBI files, described auditory hallucinations in the form of voices discussing him outside his hospital room. At one point the Justice tried to flee the hospital in his pajamas, specifically because of the mistaken belief that the CIA was plotting against him.[3]



  1. ^ Green List: Annex to the annual statistical report on psychotropic substances (form P) 23rd edition. August 2003. International Narcotics Board, Vienna International Centre. Accessed 1 September 2005 (UTC)
  2. ^ Legal Times. Accessed 4 January 2007
  3. ^ Sherman, Mark; Pete Yost. "FBI Files: Rehnquist Had Hallucinations",, Jan 04 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-05. 


  • PubChem Substance Summary: Ethchlorvynol National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed 1 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Electronic Orange Book: Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations Food and Drug Administration. Accessed 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • FBI: Rehnquist withdrew from painkillers ( Accessed 5 Jan. 2007

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ethchlorvynol". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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