Quaalude (Methaqualone) is a commonly used antidepressant to treat insomnia and as a muscle relaxant. Like most depressants, Quaalude acts on the GABA receptors in the central nervous system of the brain and acts as a sedative. It is a barbiturates-like antidepressant so produce similar effects like Amobarbital and Butalbital. During the 1960’s, Quaalude was the most widely prescribed sedative in the market.
Quaalude has been used illegally as a common recreational drug. The drug was discontinued in the US in 1985 because of its long-lasting psychological addictiveness and its reputation for recreational use.
Quaalude increases the activity of the GABA receptors, thereby making the person feel “hypnotized”. The patient’s blood pressure experiences a sudden drop and the breathing/pulse rate slow down, sending the patient into a state of deep somnolence. Quaalude peaks within a few hours of administration and the effects can last up to 8 hours.
Side Effects of Quaalude
- Lower pulse
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased libido
- Slurred speech
- Respiratory depression
- Abdominal cramps
- Complete renal failure
- Cardiac/respiratory arrest
Quaalude Do’s and Don’ts
People should only take it as prescribed. Never take more than prescribed dosage of the medicine.
People taking Quaalude should always consult a physician before changing the dosage. The human body tends to develop tolerance towards it and the doctor may increase/decrease your dosage based on the absence or presence of side effects of its usage.
People with history of alcohol dependence or substance abuse should consult the doctor about if it is the right medication for you.
It should not be taken during pregnancy. Quaalude is a category D pregnancy drug and can cause death of the unborn child.
Quaaluude should not be taken with alcohol or other depressants. It is considered to be 400% more potent when taken with another depressant and the negative synergies of two such depressants can easily cause death.
People should not drive or operate machinery for 48 hours after the last dosage of Quaalude because even the last traces of Quaalude in the blood can lead to lack of muscular coordination.
People who are allergic to barbiturates should not take Quaalude. Patients with existent glaucoma, asthma or respiratory problems could be allergic to Quaalude.
Addiction and Overdose
Quaalude has a high affinity towards abuse and has already been banned in many countries including the US because of its potentially severe side effects. Excessive abuse of this drug can cause barbiturate-type of dependence and can have long-lasting withdrawal symptoms on patients, including:
- Mental disorders
Overdose can cause excessive lowering of heart rate and pulse rate, which, in turn, can lead to unconsciousness, coma, and even death in the worst cases. If overdose is suspected, it is important to seek immediate medical help.
Those who have been addicted to Quaalude for a long time will need to undergo a detox and under the professional supervision of a drug rehabilitation center. Quaalude overdose can be easily treated by administering fluids like water and citric juices into the patient’s body if the patient is conscious, which can be performed at the facility. Physicians and psychologists can help the patient with their Quaalude addiction so that they can quickly resume day-to-day functioning and live a healthy lifestyle without drugs.