Temazepam, sold under the brand names Restoril among others, belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow sleep. It is used to treat insomnia. Such use should generally be for less than ten days. It is taken by mouth. Effects generally begin within an hour and last for up to eight hours.
Temazepam is a DEA Schedule IV controlled substance. Substances in the DEA Schedule IV have a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III. Restoril is classified by the DEA as Depressants.
How should temazepam be used?
Temazepam comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken as needed at bedtime. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take temazepam exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You will probably become very sleepy soon after you take temazepam and will remain sleepy for some time after you take the medication. Plan to go to bed right after you take temazepam and to stay in bed for 7 to 8 hours. Do not take temazepam if you will be unable to remain asleep for 7 to 8 hours after taking the medication. If you get up too soon after taking temazepam, you may experience memory problems.
Your sleep problems should improve within 7 to 10 days after you start taking temazepam. Call your doctor if your sleep problems do not improve during this time, if they get worse at any time during your treatment, or if you notice any changes in your thoughts or behavior.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with temazepam and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Temazepam may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- hangover effect (feeling groggy the day after you take temazepam)
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Temazepam may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Temazepam Safety Information
Temazepam may increase the risk of serious or life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma if used along with certain medications. Tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take certain opiate medications for cough such as codeine (in Triacin-C, in Tuzistra XR) or hydrocodone (in Anexsia, in Norco, in Zyfrel) or for pain such as codeine (in Fiorinal), fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Subsys, others), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), morphine (Astramorph, Duramorph PF, Kadian), oxycodone (in Oxycet, in Percocet, in Roxicet, others), and tramadol (Conzip, Ultram, in Ultracet). Your doctor may need to change the dosages of your medications and will monitor you carefully. If you take temazepam with any of these medications and you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care immediately: unusual dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slowed or difficult breathing, or unresponsiveness. Be sure that your caregiver or family members know which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor or emergency medical care if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
Temazepam may be habit forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you to. Tell your doctor if you have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, if you use or have ever used street drugs, or have overused prescription medications. Do not drink alcohol or use street drugs during your treatment. Drinking alcohol or using street drugs during your treatment with temazepam also increases the risk that you will experience these serious, life-threatening side effects. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression or another mental illness.
Temazepam may cause a physical dependence (a condition in which unpleasant physical symptoms occur if a medication is suddenly stopped or taken in smaller doses), especially if you take it for several days to several weeks. Do not stop taking this medication or take fewer doses without talking to your doctor. Stopping temazepam suddenly can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms that may last for several weeks to more than 12 months. Your doctor probably will decrease your temazepam dose gradually. Call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms: unusual movements; ringing in your ears; anxiety; memory problems; difficulty concentrating; sleep problems; seizures; shaking; muscle twitching; changes in mental health; depression; burning or prickling feeling in hands, arms, legs or feet; seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear; thoughts of harming or killing yourself or others; overexcitement; or losing touch with reality.