What are Quaaludes?
Generic Name: methaqualone
Common Brand Names: Quaalude, Sopor
Other Formal Names: Cateudil, Dormutil, Hyminal, Isonox, Melsed, Melsedin, Mequelone, Mequin, Methadorm, Mozambin, Optimil, Parest, Renoval, Somnafac, Toquilone Compositum, Triador, Tuazole.
Informal Names: Bandits, Beiruts, Blou Bulle, Disco Biscuits, Ewings, Flamingos, Flowers, Genuines, Lemmon 714, Lemons, Lennons, Lovers, Ludes, Mandies, Qua, Quaaludes, Quack, Quad, Randy Mandies, 714, Soaper, Sopes, Sporos, Vitamin Q, Wagon Wheels
Quaaludes (methaqualone) are a synthetic, barbiturate-like, central nervous system depressant. Methaqualone is an anxiolytic and a sedative-hypnotic drug. Quaaludes were introduced as a safe barbiturate substitute, but they later showed that the possibility of addiction and withdrawal symptoms were similar to those of barbiturates.
History of Quaaludes
Quaaludes were first synthesized in India in 1950’s. It was introduced into America in the 1960’s and by the late 1960’s it became a popular recreational drug. The abuse potential of Quaaludes soon became apparent and in 1973 methaqualone was placed in Schedule II, making it difficult to prescribe and illegal to possess without a prescription. In 1984 it was moved to Federal Schedule I, so Quaaludes are no longer legally available in the United States.
Quaaludes that are sold for recreational use now are synthesized in illegal laboratories. Illegally produced Quaaludes can contain other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines.
In the 1960s a methaqualone and diphenhydramine combination pill called Mandrax was sold as a sedative. Current Mandrax pills, made illegally, may also contain benzodiazepines, barbiturates, ephedrine, etc. Mandrax is still widely abused in South Africa.
Uses of Quaaludes
In prescribed doses, Quaaludes promotes relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These properties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic.
In 1972, Quaaludes were one of the most prescribed sedatives in United States.
It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect. Quaaludes were a popular drug of abuse during much of the 1970s, even though both the United States and Britain tightened control around their use and dispensing. “Luding out” where Quaaludes were taken with wine, became a popular college pastime.
When it was a legal medicine, methaqualone was available in tablet and capsule form and came in different strengths.
Oral Quaaludes dosages was 75-150mg for light sedation. A common prescribed dose was 300mg. Up to 600mg was used for strong sedation. Tolerance develops rapidly and some users may take up to 2000mg daily to achieve the same effects.
Onset of action is approximately 30 minutes after taking Quaaludes and duration of action is between 5 to 8 hours.
Overdose of Quaaludes can lead to seizures, coma or death.
Taking doses of over 300mg can be dangerous for first time users. Depending on the state of the user’s tolerance, doses of about 8,000mg per day can be fatal and others on even higher doses (of up to 20,000mg) may survive.
Death can result at much lower doses if Quaaludes are taken with alcohol, which is also a central nervous system depressant.
Quaaludes use during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Quaaludes are not recommended during pregnancy as the effects on human fetal development are not clear.
There is no data available about the effects of Quaaludes in breastfeeding.
Quaaludes should not be taken with alcohol or with other central nervous system depressants. This increases the depressant effects and depending on the doses taken it can be fatal.
Do not drive or operate machinery while taking Quaaludes.
Quaaludes Side Effects
Common side effects of Quaaludes include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fatigue, itching, rashes, sweating, dry mouth, tingling sensation in arms and legs, seizures and its depressant effects include reduced heart rate and respiration.
Quaaludes can also cause erectile dysfunction and difficulty achieving orgasms. At high doses it can cause mental confusion and loss of muscle control (ataxia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Quaaludes Abuse and Dependence
Abuse of Quaaludes creates a barbiturate-type dependence. It is highly addictive and frequent users build a tolerance to it. Quaaludes can cause withdrawal symptoms similar to barbiturates, including restlessness, irritability, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, insomnia, tremors, mental confusion, seizures, etc.
When it was used legally, it was found that Quaaludes users were affected negatively or dying more because of the accidents they were in, due to poor decisions made while under its influence. Driving skills of Quaalude users are impaired and can cause fatal accidents.
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