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Temazepam Patient Tips

Medically reviewed on Sep 21, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm.

How it works

  • Temazepam is used for the short-term relief of insomnia. Symptoms of insomnia include trouble falling asleep or waking during the night.
  • Temazepam causes sedative effects by enhancing the effects of GABA, a chemical transmitter in the brain.
  • Temazepam belongs to the class of medicines known as benzodiazepines.


  • Useful for the short-term relief (less than seven to ten days) of insomnia.
  • Has more sedative properties, but less anti-seizure and anxiolytic effects than some other benzodiazepines such as diazepam and oxazepam.
  • Generic temazepam is available.


If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, oversedation, short-term memory loss, coordination problems, and confusion are common side effects.
  • May cause a drop in blood pressure, especially from going from a lying down to standing position. This may increase the risk of falls. Elderly people may be more sensitive to this effect, and dosage for elderly people should be kept low.
  • Withdrawal symptoms (tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, rarely seizures) may occur if temazepam has been taken long-term or at higher-than-recommended dosages and is stopped abruptly. Temazepam should be tapered off slowly on discontinuation. Even after regular dosing, mild withdrawal symptoms (such as low mood, insomnia) may occur if temazepam is discontinued abruptly.
  • Temazepam is addictive and can cause dependence. May not be suitable for people with a history of substance abuse or addictive disorders. Keep legitimate supplies of temazepam out of sight of potential drug seekers.
  • Temazepam should not be used during pregnancy because it has been associated with an increased risk of birth defects. Temazepam is incompatible with breastfeeding.
  • Paradoxical reactions (the opposite of what is expected), such as worsening of insomnia, aggressiveness, hallucinations, extroversion, and rage have been reported, mainly in people with other mental health concerns.
  • Reports of "sleep-driving” (driving while not fully awake), and other behaviors (eg, eating, making phone calls, having sex) after temazepam ingestion are documented. The risk may be exacerbated by large doses or alcohol. Seek medical advice if this occurs.
  • May interact with several other medicines, including other drugs that have sedation as a side effect. See prescribing information for a full list of interactions.
  • May not be suitable for some people including those with respiratory disease, kidney or liver disease, psychiatric illness, or those with a history of substance abuse or addictive disorders.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Temazepam is used to help people get to sleep. It is habit forming and should not be used for more than seven to ten days at one time.


  • Take just before bedtime. Do not take temazepam if you are unlikely to stay in bed for the next seven to eight hours.
  • Once you have taken temazepam, do not drive, operate machinery, or perform tasks that require mental alertness. Avoid alcohol.
  • Only use temazepam for short periods of time to help with sleep (no more than seven to ten days) as it can be habit-forming. Sleep disturbance can be a sign of some other underlying disorder. Call your doctor if your insomnia worsens or does not improve within seven to ten days.
  • Take only as directed by your doctor. Do not increase the dosage without your doctor's advice. Side effects from temazepam increase with higher dosages.
  • Temazepam can increase your risk of falls, particularly if you need to get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. Remove any fall hazards from your house (such as loose rugs) and slowly get out of bed when getting up in the middle of the night.
  • Seek immediate medical advice if you experience any unusual side effects from temazepam such as worsening of insomnia, aggressiveness, hallucinations, or bizarre behaviors.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before buying other medications over the counter to check that they are compatible with temazepam.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Temazepam takes approximately 30 minutes to start working, with peak effects seen at three-quarters to one hour. Effects last approximately seven to eight hours.
  • Do not take temazepam if you do not intend to stay asleep or in bed for at least eight hours. Otherwise, you may find yourself still under the effects of the drug, which may affect your ability to concentrate or drive.


  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed 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. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. 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 1996-2017 Revision Date: 2017-09-27 02:21:57