By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Glutethimide Brand Name(s): Glutethimide.


What is glutethimide used for?

Glutethimide is commonly used for the short-term treatment of insomnia.

How should I take glutethimide?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

How do I store glutethimide?

Glutethimide is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store glutethimide in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of glutethimide that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush glutethimide down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using glutethimide?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are allergic to glutethimide.

Risk-benefit should be considered when the following medical problems exist, such as:

  • Bladder neck obstruction
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Glaucoma
  • Narrow-angle
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Prostatic hypertrophy
  • Pyloroduodenal obstruction
  • Drug abuse or dependence
  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Porphyria
  • Renal function impairment, severe
  • Sensitivity to glutethimide

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using glutethimide during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking glutethimide. Glutethimide is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown


Glutethimide is distributed into breast milk; use by a breastfeeding woman may cause sedation in the infant.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from glutethimide?

Some side effects can occur when using this drug, including:

  • Skin rash
  • Blood dyscrasias
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Paradoxical reaction (unusual excitement)
  • Drowsiness, daytime
  • Blurred vision
  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Hangover effect
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with glutethimide?

Glutethimide may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products may interact with your drug, such as:

  • Addictive medications, especially central nervous system (CNS) depressants with habituating potential
  • Alcohol or CNS depression–producing medications
  • Anticoagulants, coumarin or indandione

Does food or alcohol interact with glutethimide?

Glutethimide may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with glutethimide?

Glutethimide may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using glutethimide.

What is the dose of glutethimide for an adult?


Oral, 500 mg at bedtime; dose may be repeated if necessary, but not less than four hours before patient arises.

Note: Geriatric or debilitated patients may be more sensitive to the effects of the usual adult dose. The initial daily dose should not exceed 500 mg at bedtime.

What is the dose of glutethimide for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is glutethimide available?

Glutethimide is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Not commercially available

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of glutethimide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia


Review Date: April 1, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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