- Type of Drug: Benzodiazepine sedative.
- Prescribed for: The short-term treatment of insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, frequent nighttime awakening, and waking too early in the morning.
Quazepam (Doral) General Information
Quazepam is a member of the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. All have some activity as either antianxiety agents, anticonvulsants, or sedatives. Benzodiazepines work by a direct effect on the brain. Benzodiazepines make it easier to sleep and decrease the number of times you wake up during the night.
The principal differences between these medicines lie in how long they work on your body. They all take about 2 hours to reach maximum blood level, but some remain in your body longer, so they work for a longer period of time. Flurazepam and Quazepam remain in your body and last the longest, thus resulting in the greatest incidence of morning “hangover.” Often sleeplessness is a reflection of another disorder that would be untreated by one of these medicines.
Quazepam (Doral) Cautions and Warnings
People with respiratory disease may experience sleep apnea (intermittent breathing while sleeping) while taking a benzodiazepine sedative.
People with kidney or liver disease should be carefully monitored while taking Quazepam. Take the lowest possible dose to help you sleep.
Clinical depression may be increased by Quazepam and other drugs with an ability to depress the nervous system. Intentional overdosage is more common among depressed people who take sleeping pills than those who do not.
All benzodiazepine drugs can be abused if taken for long periods of time. It is possible for a person taking Quazepam to develop drug-withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms include tremors, muscle cramps, insomnia, agitation, diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, and convulsions.
Quazepam (Doral) Possible Side Effects
- Most common: drowsiness, headache, dizziness, talkativeness, nervousness, apprehension, poor muscle coordination, light-headedness, daytime tiredness, muscle weakness, slowness of movements, hangover, and euphoria (feeling “high”).
- Less common: nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat and abnormal heart; rhythms, confusion, temporary memory loss, upset stomach, stomach cramps and pain, depression, blurred or double vision, constipation, changes in taste perception, appetite changes, stuffy nose, nosebleeds, common cold symptoms, asthma, sore throat, cough, breathing problems, diarrhea, dry mouth, allergic reactions, fainting, itching, acne, dry skin, sensitivity to bright light or the sun, rash, nightmares or strange dreams, difficulty sleeping, tingling in the hands or feet, ringing or buzzing in the ears, ear or eye pains, menstrual cramps, frequent or painful urination, blood in the urine, discharge from the penis or vagina, poor control of the urinary function, lower back and joint pains, muscle spasms and pain, fever, swollen breasts, and weight changes.
Quazepam (Doral) Drug Interactions
• As with all benzodiazepines, the effects of Quazepam are enhanced if the drug is taken with other nervous-system depressants (including alcoholic beverages, antihistamines, tranquilizers, and barbiturates), anticonvulsant medicines, tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor drugs (most often prescribed for severe depression).
• Oral contraceptives, Cimetidine, Disulfiram, and Isoniazid may increase the effect of Quazepam by interfering with the drug’s breakdown in the liver. Probenecid may also increase Quazepam’s effect.
• Cigarette smoking, Rifampin, and Theophylline may reduce Quazepam’s sedating effect.
• The effect of Levodopa may be decreased by Quazepam.
• Quazepam may increase the amount of Zidovudine, Phenytoin, or Digoxin in your blood, increasing the chances of drug toxicity.
• The combination of Clozapine and benzodiazepines has led to respiratory collapse in a few people. Quazepam should be stopped at least 1 week before starting Clozapine treatment.
Quazepam (Doral) Food Interactions
Quazepam may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
Adult (age 18 and older): 7.5 to 15 mg at bedtime. The dose must be individualized for maximum benefit.
Senior: take the lowest effective dose.
Child: not recommended.
Quazepam (Doral) Overdosage
The most common symptoms of overdosage are confusion, sleepiness, depression, loss of muscle coordination, and slurred speech. Coma may develop if the overdose is particularly large. Overdose symptoms can develop if a single dose of only 4 times the maximum daily dose is taken. Overdose victims must be made to vomit with Syrup of Ipecac (available at any pharmacy) to remove any remaining drug from the stomach. Call your doctor or a poison control center before doing this. If 30 minutes have passed since the overdose was taken or symptoms have begun to develop, the victim must be taken immediately to a hospital emergency room for treatment. ALWAYS bring the medicine bottle.
Quazepam (Doral) Special Information
Never take more of this medication than your doctor has prescribed.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and other nervous-system depressants while taking this medicine.
People taking this drug must be careful when performing tasks requiring concentration and coordination because it may make them tired, dizzy, or light-headed.
If you take Quazepam daily for 3 or more weeks, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking it. Talk with your doctor about how to discontinue the drug.
If you forget to take a dose of Quazepam, and remember within about an hour of your regular time, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until later, skip the forgotten dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
Quazepam (Doral) Special Populations
Quazepam must absolutely not be used by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. Animal studies have shown that this drug passes easily into the fetal blood system and can affect fetal development.
Benzodiazepines pass into breast milk and can affect a nursing infant. Quazepam should not be taken by nursing mothers.
Older adults are more susceptible to the effects of Quazepam and should take the lowest possible dosage.