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Methaqualone is a drug which was widely prescribed as a sedative in the 1960s and 1970s under the brand name "Quaalude".

It became a popular recreational drug, used largely by teenagers, leading to it being pulled from the market and reclassified in the U.S. as of 1984 under Schedule I (wide potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use) along with the likes of heroin and marijuana.

While it is no longer widely encountered in the U.S. it is a popular illegal drug in South Africa where it is called Mandrax and is usually smoked off tin foil.

Ben Stein (of all people) once wrote a novel on the subject.[1]

As a date rape drug[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Rape

Comedian Bill Cosby has been accused by several women of sexual assault by secretly putting Quaaludes in drinks without their knowledge or convincing them it was medicine (such as a cold pill, for instance) so he could rape them.[2][3] He has since been acquitted, but more due to a technicality rather than any doubt that he was guilty.


  1. Ludes: A Ballad of the Drug & the Dream by Benjamin Stein (1983) Bantam Books. ISBN 0553233556.
  2. Bill Cosby admitted to getting Quaaludes to give to women by Holly Yan et al. (11:42 PM ET, Tue July 7, 2015) CNN.
  3. Quaaludes, Cosby’s Alleged Rape Drugs of Choice, Were Somehow Even Scarier Than You Think: Some of Cosby’s accusers weren’t unconscious when he allegedly assaulted them. Many were awake, and unable to do anything about it. by Jay Michaelson (07.27.15 11:50 AM ET) The Daily Beast.