Brand Name:Apo-Temazepam, Gen-Temazepam, Novo-Temazepam, Nu-Temazepam, PMS-Temazepam, ratio-Temazepam, Restoril

Prescription needed: Yes

What is this drug used for?

Temazepam is primarily used in the short term to help people who are having problems falling asleep or staying asleep during the night.

Is there any reason not to take this drug?

You should not take this drug if you are allergic to temazepam or to other similar drugs called benzodiazepines (e.g. alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, clorazepate, estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, prazepam, or triazolam). Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • a problem with alcohol or drug abuse
  • problems with your liver
  • problems with sleep apnea
  • problems with your lungs (e.g. severe emphysema)
  • feelings of being depressed or suicidal
  • glaucoma (especially acute narrow angle glaucoma or open angle glaucoma that is not being treated)
  • myasthenia gravis
  • problems with memory with or without the use of these drugs

What about possible side effects?

The most common side effects are:

  • feeling tired and drowsy
  • dizziness, lightheadedness
  • feeling unsteady, loss of balance
  • feeling weak

These side effects are usually related to dose, the use of other medications and other factors (e.g. older age, other medical conditions). As well, these side effects may go away with time. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you have any risk factors that may make you more sensitive to these side effects. Contact your doctor if these symptoms continue or become worse.

Other side effects include:

  • decreased mood
  • constipation, dry mouth
  • difficulty sleeping
  • breathing problems (call your doctor immediately)
  • confusion, hallucinations, tremors, slurred speech (call your doctor)
  • physical and mental dependence on the drug
  • decreased memory
This is not a complete list of side effects. If you are concerned about these or other unusual symptoms while taking this medication, ask your doctor and/or pharmacist for more information and advice.

What if I am taking other drugs?

Always provide your doctor with a list of all other drugs you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and herbal/natural products) as they may interact with and/or may change the safety or effectiveness of either drug. Tell your doctor specifically if you are taking any other drugs to help you sleep and/or for the treatment of anxiety and/or any of the following:

  • drugs that can cause tiredness, sedation, dizziness - talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following drugs:
    • antihistamines (e.g. diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine)
    • opioid pain medications (e.g. codeine, oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone)
    • antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, trazodone) and antipsychotics (e.g. risperidone, haloperidol)
    • muscle relaxants (e.g. cyclobenzaprine)
    • drugs for epilepsy (gabapentin, phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, valproic acid)

Your doctor may need to make changes or monitor you more closely. If in doubt ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your list of medications.

This is not a complete list of drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your list of medications

Other information:

You may find the drug is less effective the longer you take it. Because of this and its addictive nature, temazepam should generally not be taken for more than a week or two Do not increase your dosage without first talking to your doctor.

If you are scheduled for medical or dental surgery make sure your healthcare providers know that you are taking temazepam.

How to take: It is taken once daily about 30 minutes before going to bed.

Children: Generally not recommended.

Seniors: May be more sensitive to effects. Lower dose may be necessary, especially at the start of therapy.

Pregnancy: Should generally not take this drug without talking about the risks and benefits with their doctor. Other benzodiazepines, similar to temazepam, have been seen to cause an increase in birth defects.

Women who are nursing: Passes into breast milk. Talk to your doctor.

People who drive or operate machinery: Should not do so until they know how this drug affects them personally. May make you less alert and slow down your reactions.

Alcohol: You should not drink while on temazepam as alcohol increases its sedative effects.

Overdose: If you have taken a large overdose and/or notice any unusual symptoms (e.g. excessive drowsiness) see your doctor.

Stopping the drug: People who have been taking temazepam for less than two weeks can generally stop using it when it is no longer required. However, if you have been on the drug for a longer period of time do not stop this drug without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will want to wean you off the drug gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, insomnia, tremors, vomiting, sweating). Some withdrawal symptoms can be severe (seizures, vomiting).

If you miss a dose: Do not take the missed dose. Simply resume your regular schedule the following night.

Storage conditions: Closed container; cool, dry location away from excess moisture (not in the bathroom) and light; always out of reach of children.

Dietary precautions: No specific recommendations.