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Estazolam Side Effects

Not all side effects for estazolam may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to estazolam: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by estazolam. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking estazolam:

More common
  • Absence of or decrease in body movement
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • dizziness
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Less common
  • Delusions
  • dementia
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • mood or mental changes
  • nausea and vomiting
  • tiredness
  • Aggressive or angry
  • blood in the urine
  • bloody nose
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • convulsions
  • cough
  • crying
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • decreased reflexes
  • deep or fast breathing with dizziness
  • depersonalization
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult urination
  • difficulty breathing
  • dryness or soreness of throat
  • dysphoria
  • fainting
  • false or unusual sense of well-being
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • fear or nervousness
  • feeling of warmth
  • fever
  • frequent strong or increased urge to urinate
  • hoarseness
  • increased urge to urinate during the night
  • irritability
  • lack of feeling or emotion
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of memory
  • mouth sores or ulcers
  • muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  • noisy breathing
  • numbness of the feet, hands, and around mouth
  • paranoia
  • problems with memory
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • rapidly changing moods
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • severe sleepiness
  • severe stomach pain
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • sudden loss of consciousness
  • swelling
  • swollen glands
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble in swallowing
  • trouble sleeping
  • uncaring
  • uncontrolled eye movements
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • voice changes
  • waking to urinate at night
  • wheezing
Incidence not known
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • diarrhea
  • fever with or without chills
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • itching
  • joint or muscle pain
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle cramps
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • sleeplessness
  • sweating
  • unable to sleep

Some of the side effects that can occur with estazolam may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Lack or loss of strength
Less common
  • Pain in the legs or feet
  • Blemishes on the skin
  • bloated
  • blurred vision
  • burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • change in color vision
  • change in taste bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
  • changes in vision, especially night blindness
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • cramping in the lower abdomen, back, or legs
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • difficulty in moving
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • double vision
  • ear or eye pain
  • excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • glare or snowy image caused by bright light
  • hearing loss
  • hives or welts
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased or decreased appetite
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to sunlight
  • indigestion
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • muscle pains or stiffness
  • pain in the arms, jaw, or neck
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • pain, swelling, or redness in joints
  • passing gas
  • pimples
  • red, sore eyes
  • redness of the skin
  • seeing double
  • sneezing
  • stomach upset
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • swelling of the breasts
  • tenderness in stomach area
  • weight gain or loss
  • white or brownish vaginal discharge
Incidence not known
  • Increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
  • redness or other discoloration of skin
  • severe sunburn

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to estazolam: oral tablet

Nervous system

Two cases of seizures following discontinuation of estazolam have been reported.[Ref]

Nervous system side effects have been common and included drowsiness, sedation, headache, dizziness, hypokinesia, and ataxia most frequently. Anxiety has also been reported.[Ref]


Other side effects have included tolerance to the pharmacologic effects of benzodiazepines and withdrawal symptoms after either abrupt cessation or fast tapering of estazolam. Withdrawal symptoms have included agitation, restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, tremor, abdominal discomfort, blurred vision, vomiting, sweating, and seizures.[Ref]


However, one study of single high doses of estazolam given to healthy volunteers revealed no evidence of respiratory depression during wakefulness.[Ref]

Respiratory side effects have included dose-dependent respiratory depression. Estazolam-induced respiratory depression is generally not clinically significant at the usual hypnotic doses. However, patients with impaired respiratory function may be at greater risk of estazolam-induced respiratory depression.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, constipation, bad taste in mouth, and dry mouth have been reported.[Ref]


1. "Estazolam--a new benzodiazepine hypnotic." Med Lett Drugs Ther 33 (1991): 91-2

2. "Product Information. ProSom (estazolam)." Abbott Pharmaceutical, Abbott Park, IL.

3. Skatrud JB, Badr S, Begle RL, Juan D "Ventilatory response to single, high dose estazolam in healthy humans." J Clin Pharmacol 30 (1990): 543-8

4. Pierce MW, Shu VS, Groves LJ "Safety of estazolam. The United States clinical experience." Am J Med 88 (1990): s12-7

5. Post GL, Patrick RO, Crowder JE, Houston J, Ferguson JM, Bielski RJ, Bailey L, Pearlman HG, Shu VS, Pierce MW "Estazolam treatment of insomnia in generalized anxiety disorder: a placebo-controlled study." J Clin Psychopharmacol 11 (1991): 249-53

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.