- Type of Drug: Benzodiazepine sedative.
- Prescribed for: Short-term treatment of insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, frequent nighttime awakening, and waking too early in the morning.
Temazepam (Restoril) General Information
Temazepam is one 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 go to sleep and decrease the number of times you wake up during the night.
These medicines differ primarily 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. Temazepam is considered to be an intermediate-acting sedative and generally remains long enough to give you a good night’s sleep with minimal “hangover.”
Often sleeplessness is a reflection of another disorder that would be untreated by one of these medicines.
Temazepam (Restoril) Cautions and Warnings
People with respiratory disease may experience sleep apnea (intermittent breathing while asleep) while taking Temazepam.
People with kidney or liver disease should be carefully monitored while taking this medicine. Take the lowest possible dose to help you sleep.
Clinical depression may be increased by the benzodiazepines and other drugs that depress the nervous system. Intentional overdosage is more common among depressed people who take sleeping pills than among those who do not.
All benzodiazepine drugs can be abused if taken for long periods of time, and it is possible for a person taking a benzodiazepine drug to develop drug-withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms include tremors, muscle cramps, insomnia, agitation, diarrhea, vomiting, increased sweating, and convulsions.
Temazepam (Restoril) Possible Side Effects
- Most common: drowsiness, headache, dizziness, talkativeness, nervousness, apprehension, poor muscle coordination, light-headed ness, daytime tiredness, muscle weakness, slowness of movements, hangover, and euphoria (feeling “high”).
- Less common: nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, confusion, temporary memory loss, upset 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, abnormal heart rhythms, 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 pain, 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 pain, muscle spasms and pain, fever, swollen breasts, and weight changes.
Temazepam (Restoril) Drug Interactions
- Temazepam’s effects are enhanced if it is taken with other nervous-system depressants, including alcoholic beverages, antihistamines, tranquilizers, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor drugs (most often prescribed for severe depression).
- Oral contraceptives may increase the effect of Temazepam by interfering with the drug’s breakdown in the liver. Probenecid also increases Temazepam’s effects.
- Cigarette smoking, Rifampin, and Theophylline may reduce Temazepam’s effect on your body.
- Temazepam may decrease Levodopa’s effectiveness.
- Temazepam may increase the amount of Zidovudine (AZT), Phenytoin, or Digoxin in your blood, increasing the chances of drug toxicity.
- The combination of Clozapine and a benzodiazepine has led to respiratory collapse in a few people. Temazepam should be stopped at least 1 week before starting Clozapine treatment.
- Temazepam blood levels may be increased when taken with one of the macrolide antibiotics (Azithromycin, Erythromycin, or Clarithromycin).
Temazepam may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
Adult (age 18 and older): 15 to 30 mg at bedtime. The dose must be individualized for maximum benefit.
Senior: begin treatment with 15 mg at bedtime. Dosage may be increased if needed.
Child: not recommended.
Temazepam (Restoril) 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.
Never take more of this medication than prescribed. Avoid alcoholic beverages and other nervous-system depressants while taking this medicine.
Be careful when performing tasks requiring concentration and coordination because this drug may make you drowsy, dizzy, or light-headed.
If you take Temazepam daily for 3 or more weeks, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. Talk with your doctor about the best way to discontinue the drug.
If you forget to take a dose of Temazepam 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.
Temazepam (Restoril) Special Populations
Temazepam should absolutely not be used by pregnant women of women who may become pregnant. Animal studies have shown that the drug passes easily into the fetal blood system and can affect fetal development.
Benzodiazepines pass into breast milk and can affect an infant. Temazepam should not be taken by nursing mothers.
Seniors are more susceptible to the effects of Temazepam and should take the lowest possible dosage.