flurazepam (Oral route)Pronunciation
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Hypnotic
Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Long Acting
Uses For flurazepam
Flurazepam is used to treat insomnia (trouble with sleeping). flurazepam helps you get to sleep faster and sleep through the night.
Flurazepam is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are medicines that slow down the nervous system.
flurazepam is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using flurazepam
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For flurazepam, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to flurazepam or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of flurazepam in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established for children younger than 15 years of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of flurazepam in the elderly. However, severe drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, or unsteadiness are more likely to occur in the elderly, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving flurazepam.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking flurazepam, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using flurazepam with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Chloral Hydrate
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Sodium Oxybate
Using flurazepam with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- St John's Wort
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of flurazepam. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol abuse, or history of, or
- Drug abuse or dependence, or history of—Dependence on flurazepam may develop.
- Breathing problems or lung disease, severe or
- Depression, or history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper Use of flurazepam
Take flurazepam only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Take flurazepam just before going to bed, when you are ready to go to sleep.
The dose of flurazepam will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of flurazepam. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- For insomnia:
- Adults—30 milligrams (mg) at bedtime. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
- Older adults—15 milligrams (mg) at bedtime. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For insomnia:
If you miss a dose of flurazepam, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using flurazepam
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure flurazepam is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Using flurazepam while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using flurazepam, tell your doctor right away.
Flurazepam may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop taking flurazepam and call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using flurazepam.
flurazepam will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates (used for seizures); muscle relaxants; or anesthetics (numbing medicines), including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you stop taking flurazepam. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using flurazepam.
flurazepam may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, clumsy, unsteady, or less alert than they are normally. Even though flurazepam is taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert the next morning. Also, flurazepam may cause double vision or other vision problems. Make sure you know how you react to flurazepam before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to think or see well.
If you develop any unusual or strange thoughts and behavior while taking flurazepam, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people taking flurazepam are like those seen in people who drink too much alcohol. Other changes might be confusion, worsening of depression, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.
flurazepam may cause sleep-related behaviors such as driving a car (sleep-driving), walking (sleep-walking), having sex, making phone calls, or preparing and eating food while you are asleep or not fully awake. If these behaviors occur, tell your doctor right away.
Do not stop taking flurazepam without checking with your doctor first. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. This may help prevent a worsening of your condition and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms, such as convulsions (seizures), hallucinations, stomach or muscle cramps, tremors, or unusual behavior.
If your condition does not improve within 7 to 10 days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
flurazepam Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Rare
- Black, tarry stools
- blurred vision
- chest pain
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- feeling like you will pass out
- painful or difficult urination
- shortness of breath
- slurred speech
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- swollen glands
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Change in consciousness
- clumsy movement, moving from side to side
- confusion about identity, place, and time
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- loss of consciousness
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness or feeling of sluggishness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Rare
- Bitter taste
- blurred vision
- burning eyes
- difficulty in focusing
- dry mouth
- false or unusual sense of well-being
- feeling of warmth
- feeling sad or empty
- increased watering of the mouth
- itching skin
- loss of appetite
- loss of interest or pleasure
- mood or mental changes
- redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
- skin rash
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
- weight loss
- joint pain
- stomach upset
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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