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What Are Quaaludes?

What are Quaaludes? Read on to learn what this drug is, along with the side effects it can have on the body.

What Are Quaaludes?

The history of Quaaludes is long, and the drug has been known for many things over the years. Also known as methaqualone, the drug’s sedative properties were identified in the 1950s, although the Quaaludes formula wasn't patented until 1962. The drug was given as a sedative and sleep aid in the UK throughout the 1960s and then slowly stopped being prescribed as much.1

What Are Quaaludes

How Do They Work?

Most sedatives, such as Valium and alcohol, increase inhibitory signals in the brain by binding to GABA receptors in the central nervous system. Modern Quaaludes exhibit comparable sedative effects despite binding to a different region of the GABA receptors. 2 

What Were Quaaludes Prescribed For?

Prescription antidepressants containing methaqualone, (for example Quaalude sedatives), enhance the activation of GABA receptors in the brain. Its sedative and hypnotic properties made it an effective sleep aid.

Are Quaaludes Legal?

The United States placed Quaaludes under Schedule II of the Controlled Substance Act in 1973 due to their abuse potential. The move made it difficult to prescribe the drug without a proper prescription, and it was illegal to have unless one did have a prescription.

In 1984, the DEA placed Quaaludes under Schedule I, meaning they're no longer permitted in the US. Schedule I pharmaceuticals have a significantly high potential for abuse and addiction, no accepted medical use in the United States, and questionable safety even if one uses them under medical supervision.3 

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction to Quaaludes

Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of Quaaludes addiction may help you or your loved one be prepared to take the appropriate action if necessary. If one takes a tolerance to Quaaludes, it could also mean that some symptoms of withdrawal could occur if they were to suddenly stop using the drug, which can be equally as dangerous. Learn the basic symptoms to expect below.

Indications of Quaalude Misuse

If this drug is misused, the signs and symptoms listed below might appear as follows:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • An abnormally high level of sweating
  • Reduced appetite
  • Hives
  • Slurred speech
  • Overdose and death
  • Motor system dysfunction
  • Inability to recall a past event
  • Weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat

Please seek assistance if you or a close family member or loved one experience any of these probable Quaaludes side effects, or effects of quaaludes similar drugs. It is imperative to seek medical assistance immediately.

Quaaludes Effects

Quaaludes pills can be addictive and potentially dangerous, and, as is the case with all chemical dependencies, withdrawal can have severe consequences as the body fights to adapt. Combining this medication with alcohol often results in drunken and drowsy highs. The effects often manifest within half an hour and may last up to six hours. Learn more below.

Short-Term Side Effects

Depending on the Quaaludes dose consumed, the following short-term adverse effects may occur. The can range from:

  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Tachycardia

Long-Term Side Effects

Long-term negative effects are significantly more severe than their short-term counterparts. Long-term is a misleading term for a Quaaludes substance abuse disorder, as some of these symptoms might manifest after only a few doses. Some of the long-term adverse effects include:

  • Photophobia
  • Cardiovascular dysfunction
  • Coma
  • Respiratory problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Liver or kidney damage
  • Paresthesia
  • Sexual abnormalities
  • Memory impairment
  • Death

Learn More About Ripple Ranch Recovery Center

Our team is standing by to discuss your situation and options. Your call is fully confidential, and no obligation is required.

Can You Overdose on Quaaludes?

Do not hesitate to dial 911 if you or a loved one shows signs of excessive Quaaludes high or an overdose. Early intervention may make a major difference in the overall outcome. 

Long-term consumers develop a high tolerance, with some taking 20,000 mg in a day, while novice users can fall comatose from amounts as little as 2,000 mg and die from quantities as high as 8,000 mg.  4 

Quaalude Overdose Symptoms

Indications of a quaalude overdose include:

  • Convulsions
  • Delirium
  • Death
  • Renal failure
  • Coma
  • Vomiting

Symptoms of Quaaludes overdoses are comparable to those of a barbiturate overdose, except for a higher loss of motor function and a slightly lesser extent of respiratory depression.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

The withdrawal stage is the uncomfortable physical reaction after discontinuing an addictive substance. The most typical withdrawal effects from Quaaludes are:

  • Convulsions
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Tremors
  • Delirium

Any attempt to detoxify a patient should be carried out under appropriate medical care due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and the high likelihood of tolerance and dependency.

Risk Factors of Quaaludes

The danger of quaaludes overdoses may be increased by the following factors:

The Drug's Impurity

Since the substance is unavailable in the United States, illegal laboratories in other areas have begun producing counterfeit versions which may have varying potencies or be mixed with other chemicals, raising the risk of an overdose.

Taking Quaaludes With Other Substances

If someone is using Quaaludes with other depressants, the danger of respiratory depression or death increases exponentially.

Using Large Doses

A high dosage may make you more susceptible to toxicity and overdose, especially if you haven’t had a tolerance to the drug build up yet. Overdosing on Quaaludes may still even occur if you develop a significant tolerance to the substance, however, which can cause you to overindulge the drug.

Withdrawal and Relapse

A person who experiences withdrawal and then relapses may be more likely to overdose since the withdrawal process has decreased their tolerances. If the user takes the typical dosage under these circumstances, they risk overdosing.

What Are Quaaludes

Complications of Quaaludes

The prolonged use of Quaaludes comes with a number of drawbacks and general difficulties, including:

Toxic Psychosis

Toxic psychosis is a side effect of Quaaludes overdose that includes delirium, nightmares, or hallucinations. If the individual discontinues using Quaaludes, the problem will often resolve quickly and painlessly.

Sores and Bleeding

In addition to causing rashes, ulcers, blisters, or bruises from bleeding beneath the skin, high amounts of Quaaludes in the body may cause significant bleeding in the tissues surrounding the eyes, stomachs, or intestines.

Harm to Vital Organs

Quaaludes ingredients, for example, can cause accumulation of fluids in the blood arteries, causing an overdose that may potentially harm important organs like the kidneys and liver.


Aspiration is another danger from a Quaaludes overdose. This may result in choking and, subsequently, lung irritation and infection.

Accidents and Injuries

People who use Quaaludes are more prone to harm themselves unintentionally because of their decreased coordination and responsiveness to pain. Abusing Quaaludes may also make it more likely that you will be in an accident, especially if you are driving.

Ripple Ranch Offers Quaaludes Abuse Treatment

Without the right medical help, it could be hard to get over an addiction to Quaaludes. To avoid more health problems, you or a family member will need to go through Quaaludes detox under medical supervision. Most of the time, intense treatment is needed for a full recovery.

You or your loved one can get help for your Quaaludes addiction. Get in touch with the trustworthy Ripple Ranch right away!