It was a sedative drug similar to barbiturates and quickly became a popular recreational drug. Because of its high abuse potential, the DEA outlawed it in 1984. Today, Quaalude is an illegal drug that goes by many names, such as Mandies and Quack.
In prescribed doses, Quaaludes promotes relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria (happiness, calmness). 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.
The rights to Quaalude were held by the JB Roerig & Company division of Pfizer, before the drug was discontinued in the United States in 1985, mainly due to its psychological addictiveness, widespread abuse, and illegal recreational use.