Flurazepam

Pronunciation

Generic Name: flurazepam (flur-AZ-e-pam)
Brand Name: Dalmane

Flurazepam is used for:

Treating sleep disorders. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Flurazepam is a benzodiazepine. It works by depressing the central nervous system (brain), causing drowsiness to aid in falling asleep.

Do NOT use flurazepam if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in flurazepam
  • you are pregnant
  • you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma, severe liver disease, or a mental state in which contact with reality is lost (psychosis)
  • you are taking an HIV protease inhibitor (eg, ritonavir) or sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Need To Catch Some Shut-Eye? Tips on Getting the Sleep You Need

Before using flurazepam:

Some medical conditions may interact with flurazepam. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have glaucoma or a predisposition for glaucoma, kidney or liver problems, lung problems or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), muscle problems, poor health, depression, suicidal tendencies, the blood disorder porphyria, or a history of substance abuse or dependence

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with flurazepam. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Aprepitant, clozapine, disulfiram, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), kava, nefazodone, omeprazole, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), sodium oxybate (GHB), or valproic acid because they may increase the risk of flurazepam's side effects
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) or rifampin because they may decrease flurazepam's effectiveness
  • Clozapine, digoxin, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), or nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, vecuronium) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by flurazepam

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if flurazepam may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use flurazepam:

Use flurazepam as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take flurazepam by mouth with or without food.
  • Take flurazepam at bedtime with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
  • If you miss a dose of flurazepam, take it when you remember if you are still able to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. If you are no longer able to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep when you remember, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use flurazepam.

Important safety information:

  • Flurazepam may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use flurazepam with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using flurazepam; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • If your symptoms do not get better within 7 to 10 days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take flurazepam before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Some patients taking flurazepam have performed certain activities while they were not fully awake. These have included sleep driving, making and eating food, making phone calls, and having sex. Patients often do not remember these events after they happen. Such an event may be more likely to occur if you use a high dose of flurazepam. It may also be more likely if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that may cause drowsiness while you use flurazepam. Tell your doctor right away if such an event happens to you.
  • Use flurazepam with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion, daytime drowsiness, dizziness, falling, and staggering.
  • Flurazepam should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 15 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use flurazepam if you are pregnant. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Flurazepam is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking flurazepam.

When sleep medicines are used every night for more than a few weeks, they may lose their effectiveness to help you sleep. This is known as TOLERANCE. Sleep medicines should usually be used only for short periods of time, such as a few days and generally no longer than 1 or 2 weeks. If your sleep problems continue, contact your doctor.

When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking flurazepam. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

If you stop taking flurazepam suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. This may include unpleasant feelings. In more severe cases, you may have stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, and shakiness. Seizures may rarely occur. If you take flurazepam for more than 1 to 2 weeks, do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor.

Possible side effects of flurazepam:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Clumsiness or unsteadiness; dizziness; excessive daytime drowsiness; headache; lightheadedness; stomach upset; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; shortness of breath; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bizarre behavior; changes in personality, mood, or behavior; chest pain; confusion; depression; disorientation; fainting; falling; hallucinations; irregular heartbeat; loss of coordination; severe drowsiness; staggering; unusual weakness or tiredness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; deep sleep; loss of consciousness.

Proper storage of flurazepam:

Store flurazepam at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep flurazepam out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about flurazepam, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Flurazepam is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take flurazepam or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about flurazepam. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to flurazepam. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using flurazepam.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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