Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 16, 2023.
Warning: Risks From Concomitant Use With Opioids; Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction; and Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions
Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
The use of benzodiazepines, including quazepam, exposes users to risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction, which can lead to overdose or death. Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines commonly involve concomitant use of other medications, alcohol, and/or illicit substances, which is associated with an increased frequency of serious adverse outcomes. Before prescribing quazepam and throughout treatment, assess each patient’s risk for abuse, misuse, and addiction.
The continued use of benzodiazepines, including quazepam, may lead to clinically significant physical dependence. The risks of dependence and withdrawal increase with longer treatment duration and higher daily dose. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of quazepam after continued use may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, which can be life-threatening. To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue quazepam or reduce the dosage
Uses for quazepam
Quazepam is used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping). This medicine is for short-term (usually 7 to 10 days) use only. Quazepam 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.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using quazepam
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 this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine 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 quazepam in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of quazepam in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have confusion, dizziness, or falls and age-related heart, liver, or kidney problems which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving quazepam.
Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using this medicine.
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 this medicine, 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 this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine 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.
- Calcium Oxybate
- Chloral Hydrate
- Gabapentin Enacarbil
- Magnesium Oxybate
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Potassium Oxybate
- Ropeginterferon Alfa-2b-njft
- Sodium Oxybate
Using this medicine 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 this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol or drug abuse or dependence, history of or
- Breathing problems or lung disease or
- Depression, history of or
- Mental health problems, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Pulmonary insufficiency or
- Sleep apnea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper use of quazepam
Take this medicine 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. If too much of this medicine is taken for a long time, it may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence).
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Take quazepam just before going to bed, when you are ready to go to sleep. This medicine works very quickly to put you to sleep.
Do not take this medicine when your schedule does not permit you to get a full night's sleep (7 to 8 hours). If you must wake up before this, you may continue to feel drowsy and may experience memory problems, because the effects of the medicine have not had time to wear off.
The dose of this medicine 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 this medicine. 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 (tablets):
- For insomnia:
- Adults and older adults—At first, 7.5 milligrams (mg) (half-tablet) at bedtime. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For insomnia:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Use this medicine only when you cannot sleep. You do not need to keep a regular dosage schedule for taking it. Do not use two doses at the same time.
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 quazepam
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for any unwanted effects.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Using this medicine during the later pregnancy may cause problems in your newborn baby (eg, sedation or withdrawal symptoms). Tell your doctor right away if your baby has an abnormal sleep pattern, diarrhea, feeding problems, a high-pitched cry, irritability, low muscle tone, restlessness, shakiness or tremors, sluggishness, trouble breathing, weight loss, vomiting, or fails to gain weight. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
If your condition does not improve within 7 to 10 days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
Quazepam may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, hoarseness, nausea or vomiting, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth or throat while you are using this medicine.
This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. CNS depressants are medicines that slow down the nervous system, which may cause drowsiness or make you less alert. Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, barbiturates or seizures medicine, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics (numbing medicines), including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you stop taking this medicine. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.
This medicine may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy or less alert than they are normally, which may lead to falls. Even though quazepam is taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
Do not stop using this medicine without checking first with your doctor. 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, including hallucinations, seizures, stomach or muscle cramps, tremors, or unusual behavior.
This medicine may cause you to do things while you are still asleep that you may not remember the next morning. It is possible you could drive a car, sleepwalk, have sex, make phone calls, or prepare and eat food while you are asleep or not fully awake. Tell your doctor right away if you learn that any of these has happened.
If you develop any unusual and strange thoughts or behavior while you are taking quazepam, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people taking this medicine are like those seen in people who drink alcohol and then act in a manner that is not normal. Other changes may be more unusual and extreme, such as confusion, worsening of depression, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.
Symptoms of an overdose include: change in consciousness, changes in patterns and rhythms of speech, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, loss of strength or energy, mood or mental changes, muscle pain or weakness, nightmares, sleepiness or unusual drowsiness, shakiness and unsteady walk, slurred speech, trouble in speaking, trouble sleeping, unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination, unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness or feeling of sluggishness, unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability, or unusual weak feeling. Call your doctor right away if you notice these symptoms.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Side Effects of quazepam
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:
- dry mouth
- increased muscle spasm
- irregular heartbeats
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or genitals
- trouble breathing
- unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
Incidence not known
- Changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- decrease in frequency of urination
- decrease in urine volume
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- inability to move the eyes
- increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
- itching or rash
- loss of appetite
- loss of bladder control
- painful urination
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- slurred speech
- sticking out of the tongue
- stomach pain
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
- trouble in speaking or swallowing
- uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual facial expressions
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
- change in consciousness
- changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
- loss of consciousness
- loss of strength or energy
- mood or mental changes
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- slurred speech
- trouble speaking
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
- unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
- unusual weak feeling
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:
- Acid or sour stomach
- stomach discomfort or upset
Incidence not known
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increase in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- increased interest in sexual intercourse
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- menstrual changes
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.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Hypnotic
Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Long Acting
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