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Zanzibar
March 31st, 2005, 12:18 PM
Hey all, thought I'd try my luck asking you. What is the potency of off-the-shelf sleeping pills? I'm trying to write a botched suiced attempt where a character downs a number of them, chased with vodka. Anyone have a rough estimate as to how many would knock him out (and mess him up) but not kill him? Thanks.

Jacquin
March 31st, 2005, 12:54 PM
There are a huge number of different "Sleeping pills" most things you can buy on the net if you seriously want them. I'd suggest your character would be more likely to swipe a bottle from someone's bathroom cabinet and take those. Something like Diazepam is a fairly common drug to OD on. Mixed with alcohol it causes a very deep coma like state but you invariably wake up eventually. Somewhere between five and ten tablets should be about right. The dose in a tablet varies hugely so it gives you enough leeway to do what you want. Of course pretty much any drug taken to excess (more than prescribed or when not prescribed) can cause permanent damage or even kill when you'd expect it not to so there are no hard and fast rules.

J

Zanzibar
March 31st, 2005, 12:57 PM
Five to ten pills of Diazepam works for me. Would it cause any frothing at the mouth or things like that? Permanent brain damage? Do you have a rough estimate as to how long it would put you under? Thanks, Jacquin!

Expendable
March 31st, 2005, 01:28 PM
Are we talking about sleeping aids that you can purchase over the counter without a doctor's prescription? They're benedryl, great for knocking you out as well as clearing your sinus congestion. Overdose and you wake up with bone dry sinuses. Painfully dry sinuses.

Jacquin's right - Diazepam (aka Valium) is much better. Extremely toxic, it just takes 5-50 mgs/kgs taken orally to be lethal.

Symptoms include drowsyness, ataxia, muscle weakness, tinnitus, excitability, rage reaction, hallucinations, coma, cardiac arrest and can make other antidepressants react more powerfully. Most fatalities are when its combined with alcohol or barbiturates.

But it's only slightly soluble in water and can be detected in urine.

Jacquin
March 31st, 2005, 01:56 PM
Half a dozen 2mg tablets (often prescribed for chronic back pain as a muscle relaxant) taken with a lot of vodka will make you very sleepy indeed. You'll almost certainly drool, you may well be incontinent (all those muscles relaxing). You'll wake up with a hangover of biblical proportions but probably won't suffer permanent brain damage, however if you are unlucky and your airway isn't too patent you may well cause permanent brain damage or even die. You may apsirate your stomach contents into your lungs which could also kill you or perhaps just give yourself horrendous pneumonia. You could give yourself pressure sores from not moving or if you are unluck enough to fall asleep on your arm you could cause Compartment syndrom which if you are lucky would only lead to the amputation of your arm, if you were unlucky the potassium released by the cell breakdown in your arm would flood back into your system and cause a Cardiac arrest. If you survived this the myoglobin from the muscle cells would clog your kidneys and cause renal failure which would... you guessed it, kill you.

Not fun at all really.

J

Holbrook
March 31st, 2005, 03:53 PM
Thanks... just right to read with supper ;)

Jacquin
March 31st, 2005, 04:02 PM
You know I can do better than that! ;)

Zanzibar
April 1st, 2005, 12:11 PM
A gazillion thanks, all; I think I have what I need.