Skip to main content

Temazepam (Oral)

Generic name: temazepam (tem-AZ-e-pam)
Drug class: Benzodiazepines

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 4, 2021.

Oral route(Capsule)

Risks From Concomitant Use With Opioids; Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction; and Dependence and Withdrawal ReactionsConcomitant 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 temazepam, 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 temazepam and throughout treatment, assess each patient’s risk for abuse, misuse, and addiction.The continued use of benzodiazepines, including temazepam, 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 temazepam 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 temazepam or reduce the dosage .

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Restoril

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Capsule

Therapeutic Class: Hypnotic

Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Short or Intermediate Acting

Uses for temazepam

Temazepam is used to treat insomnia (trouble with sleeping). Temazepam is for short-term (usually 7 to 10 days) use only. Temazepam 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.

Temazepam is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using temazepam

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 temazepam, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to temazepam 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.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of temazepam in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of temazepam in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (eg, severe drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, or unsteadiness) and age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving temazepam.

Breastfeeding

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 temazepam, 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 temazepam 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.

  • Flumazenil

Using temazepam 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.

  • Alfentanil
  • Alprazolam
  • Amobarbital
  • Benzhydrocodone
  • Bromazepam
  • Bromopride
  • Buprenorphine
  • Butabarbital
  • Butalbital
  • Butorphanol
  • Calcium Oxybate
  • Cannabidiol
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Carisoprodol
  • Cetirizine
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Chlorzoxazone
  • Clobazam
  • Codeine
  • Dantrolene
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Doxylamine
  • Esketamine
  • Ethchlorvynol
  • Fentanyl
  • Flibanserin
  • Fospropofol
  • Gabapentin
  • Gabapentin Enacarbil
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Ketamine
  • Lemborexant
  • Levocetirizine
  • Levorphanol
  • Lofexidine
  • Loxapine
  • Magnesium Oxybate
  • Meclizine
  • Meperidine
  • Mephenesin
  • Mephobarbital
  • Meprobamate
  • Metaxalone
  • Methadone
  • Methocarbamol
  • Methohexital
  • Metoclopramide
  • Midazolam
  • Mirtazapine
  • Morphine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Nalbuphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Pentazocine
  • Pentobarbital
  • Periciazine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Potassium Oxybate
  • Pregabalin
  • Primidone
  • Propofol
  • Remimazolam
  • Scopolamine
  • Secobarbital
  • Sodium Oxybate
  • Tapentadol
  • Thiopental
  • Tramadol
  • Trazodone
  • Zolpidem

Using temazepam 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.

  • Desogestrel
  • Dienogest
  • Drospirenone
  • Estradiol
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Ethynodiol
  • Gestodene
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Mestranol
  • Nomegestrol
  • Norethindrone
  • Norgestimate
  • Norgestrel
  • Rifapentine
  • St John's Wort
  • Theophylline

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.

Using temazepam with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use temazepam, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Ethanol

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of temazepam. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse or dependence, or 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.
  • 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 temazepam

Take temazepam 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 temazepam is taken for a long time, it may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence).

Temazepam should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Take temazepam just before going to bed, when you are ready to go to sleep. Temazepam works very quickly to put you to sleep.

Do not take temazepam 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.

Dosing

The dose of temazepam 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 temazepam. 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 (trouble sleeping):
      • Adults—The usual dose is 15 milligrams (mg) at bedtime. Some patients may need 7.5 mg or 30 mg. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
      • Older adults—At first, 7.5 mg at bedtime. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of temazepam, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Use temazepam only when you cannot sleep. You do not need to take it on a schedule.

Storage

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 temazepam

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure temazepam is working properly and to check for any unwanted effects.

If your condition does not improve within 7 to 10 days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.

Using temazepam 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 the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Temazepam 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.

Temazepam 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.

Temazepam 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 medicine for seizures, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics (numbing medicines), including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you stop taking temazepam. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using temazepam.

Temazepam may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, clumsy or unsteady, or less alert than they are normally, which may lead to falls. Even though temazepam is taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Also, temazepam may cause double vision or other vision problems. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how temazepam affects you.

If you develop any unusual and strange thoughts or behavior while you are using temazepam, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people using temazepam 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.

Do not stop using temazepam 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 seizures, hallucinations, stomach or muscle cramps, tremors, or unusual behavior.

Symptoms of an overdose include: blurred vision, change in consciousness, decreased or absent reflexes, difficult or trouble breathing, difficulty with coordination, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing, loss of consciousness, mood or mental changes, pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin, sleepiness or unusual drowsiness, slurred speech, sweating, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Call your doctor right away if you notice these symptoms.

Temazepam 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 a rash, itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, tongue, mouth, or throat while you are using temazepam.

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.

Temazepam 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:

Less common

  • False or unusual sense of well-being
  • fear or nervousness
  • mood or mental changes

Rare

  • Difficult or labored breathing
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or genitals
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of memory
  • nightmares
  • problems with memory
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • tightness in the chest
  • uncontrolled eye movements
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
  • weight loss

Incidence not known

  • Muscle cramps
  • seizures
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • stomach cramps
  • sweating
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • vomiting

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Blurred vision
  • change in consciousness
  • confusion
  • decreased or absent reflexes
  • difficult or trouble breathing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
  • loss of consciousness
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

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:

Less common

  • Diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • headache
  • nausea
  • sensation of spinning
  • unusual dullness or feeling of sluggishness

Rare

  • Backache
  • burning eyes

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.