Somnifaine is the trade name for aprobarbitone, a barbiturate derivative, manufactured in Swizerland and distributed by Hoffman-la-Roche Chemical Works Ltd., 51 Bowers Rd., London. It was stocked in a mental hospital pharmacy in Victoria. Somnifaine has sedative, hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties. The drug was taken orally to induce a prolonged sleep (narcosis) in the treatment of insomnia, and was also used to sedate patients as a form of chemical restraint. The treatment was commonly called 'sleeping away one's troubles.'

Physical Description

Cardboard box. Cream background with dark brown centre. Orange bands at upper and lower edges. Original contents were an S4 or S8 scheduled pharmaceutical with the ingredient aprobarbitone. For display labelling err on the side of caution and assume S8.

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