What Is Glutethimide?


What Is Glutethimide?

Glutethimide, released under the brand name Doriden, is a hypnotic sedative prescription medication that was often prescribed to patients suffering from severe insomnia.

The sedative qualities were ideal for patients who were restless, having trouble sleeping or who were suffering from restless leg syndrome which often causes a lack of sleep.


Glutethimide was first introduced and released in 1954 for the treatment of insomnia, and as a safer alternative to arbitruates which were commonly described during that time.

However, before too long it was realized that Glutethimide was extremely addicted to anyone taking the drug, had some severe and unpleasant side effects, caused patients to become dependent on it and is associated with many unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. After this realization, most physicians would not prescribe the drug for insomnia and look to other, safer alternatives. The drug is sometimes used under their brand and generic forms when a patient does not respond to other medications, but it is rare. Due to the sedative qualities of Glutethimide, it has been known to be used recreationally when taken with codeine for effects similar to morphine.

Glutethimide Use Side Effects and Dangers

Many of the side effects from using Glutethimide are far worse than the migraine or original condition the drug was prescribed for. However since many individuals become addicted and dependent on Glutethimide, this worsens their effects due to the often higher doses of the medication and by using it for long periods of time. The most common side effects of using Glutethimide include:

  • Slowed Breathing
  • Decrease in Respiratory Rate
  • Lethargy
  • Injury to Liver
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Rise in Blood Pressure
  • Shallow Breathing

Taking high doses of Glutethimide may cause some of the most dangerous long-term adverse side effects such as hallucinations, muscle convulsions, fever and delirium. Individuals using Glutethimide recreationally will often combine it with alcohol or other substances which makes Glutethimide dangerous, often lethal due to overdose and breathing problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Glutethimide Addiction

If you are concerned that you have become addicted to Glutethimide there are some signs in your own behaviors to look for. If you find that you have become dependent on it in order to get through the day that is the first warning side that you have become addicted. Other signs include experiencing anxiety or depression without taking the drug, relying on it for highly stressful situations, increasing the dose and being agitated or angry at others for no apparent reason.

left quoteAny behavioral changes after you began taking Glutethimide are warning signs of addiction.right quote


You may be susceptible to addiction if you have other family members with a history of addiction to prescription medications, a history of abuse or neglect, or mental disorders like anxiety or depression. If you are concerned for a friend or loved one that is exhibiting unusual behavioral or psychological signs like mood swings, agitation, neglecting their personal appearance and poor hygiene, becoming more isolated and less social, skipping school or work on a continued basis or anything else that came on suddenly and seems unusual for them, it may indicate addiction.

Glutethimide Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms

Individuals who have become dependent on Glutethimide and quit use of the drug whether for lack of prescription or because they decided to quit on their own, will experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms experienced will vary based on the person's history with the medication and how susceptible they are to these conditions. The most common symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Fever-Like Symptoms
  • Insomnia
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Glutethimide Addiction Treatment

Drug rehab centers have often been the most successful way to quit using drugs like Glutethimide. Drug rehab centers focus on detoxifying the body of the medication first and guiding the patient through the withdrawal process which can take up to a week. Once that is complete, counseling sessions are encouraged to help the patient overcome the addiction and possibly find the root cause of why they became dependent on the Glutethimide in the first place. Many times, drug rehab centers will help them find the underlying cause of the addiction which can be widely successful in avoiding a further relapse. Treatment at drug rehab centers is most commonly through outpatient methods, but inpatient is sometimes available for the most severe cases.

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