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Generic Name: temazepam (te MAZ e pam)
Brand Name: Restoril

What is temazepam?

Temazepam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). Temazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems (insomnia).

Temazepam is used to treat insomnia symptoms, such as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Temazepam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about temazepam?

Do not use if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.

Temazepam may be habit-forming. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.

Temazepam may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking temazepam and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; nausea, vomiting, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking temazepam?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to temazepam or to other benzodiazepines (alprazolam, Xanax, Valium, or others).

To make sure temazepam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing disorder;

  • kidney or liver disease;

  • a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior;

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction; or

  • if you use a narcotic (opioid) medication.

Do not use temazepam if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects. Your baby could also become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking temazepam.

Temazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

The sedative effects of temazepam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking temazepam.

Temazepam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take temazepam?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never use temazepam in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms.

Temazepam may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

You should not even share this medicine with another person who has the same symptoms you have.

Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Take temazepam only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine.

Do not take temazepam unless you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using temazepam.

Temazepam should be used for only a short time to treat insomnia. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 to 10 nights of treatment, or if this medicine seems to stop working as well in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Do not stop using this medicine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Your insomnia symptoms may also return when you stop using the medicine. Ask your doctor how to safely stop taking temazepam.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Temazepam is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since temazepam is taken only at bedtime, you will not be on a frequent dosing schedule. Never take this medicine if you do not have at least 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. Do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of temazepam can be fatal, especially if taken with alcohol. Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, or loss of consciousness and coma.

What should I avoid while taking temazepam?

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking temazepam.

Temazepam may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Temazepam side effects

Temazepam may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking temazepam and get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; nausea, vomiting; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking temazepam and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • confusion, agitation, hostility, hallucinations;

  • anxiety, memory problems;

  • depressed mood; or

  • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.

Common side effects may include:

  • day-time drowsiness or "hangover" feeling;

  • headache;

  • dizziness, tiredness;

  • nausea; or

  • feeling nervous.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Temazepam dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia:

7.5 to 30 mg orally once a day at bedtime

-In transient insomnia, a 7.5 mg dose may be sufficient to improve sleep latency.
-In elderly or debilitated patients, therapy should be initiated at 7.5 mg until individual responses are determined.

Use: Short-term treatment of insomnia (generally 7 to 10 days)

What other drugs will affect temazepam?

Taking temazepam with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with temazepam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about temazepam.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. 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 drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.02.

Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: September 13, 2016