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Temazepam

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

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on May 7, 2020.

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 works by slowing down the central nervous system (brain), causing drowsiness which helps patients fall asleep.

Important Information

Never take temazepam if you do not have at least 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again.

Do not use temazepam if you are pregnant. Temazepam can cause birth defects or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine.

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.

Fatal side effects can occur if you take temazepam with alcohol, with opioid medicine, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Temazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. This medicine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.

Temazepam may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Take this medication only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine.

Before taking this medicine

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

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

  • lung disease or breathing problems;

  • depression or mental illness;

  • suicidal thoughts; or

  • drug or alcohol addiction.

Do not use temazepam if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

If you use this medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could 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.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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

How should I take temazepam?

Take temazepam exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.

Temazepam may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

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

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 affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

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. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.

Temazepam dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia:

7.5 to 30 mg orally once a day at bedtime

Comments:-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 happens if I miss a dose?

Never take temazepam if you do not have at least 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. Do not take two doses at one time.

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?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking temazepam.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Temazepam side effects

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

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as walking, driving, eating, having sex, or making phone calls and later had no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, tell your doctor right away.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • confusion, agitation, hostility, hallucinations;

  • anxiety, memory problems;

  • depressed mood; or

  • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.

The sedative effects of temazepam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines.

Common temazepam 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.

What other drugs will affect temazepam?

Taking temazepam with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with temazepam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use temazepam only for the indication prescribed.

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