Flurazepam (oral)

Flurazepam is prescribed for insomnia to help patients fall asleep.

Overview

Flurazepam treats mild cases to moderate cases of insomnia (difficulty sleeping, waking early, or waking frequently throughout the night) for patients over the age of 15. This medication is intended to be used only for the short-term. Flurazepam helps patients to sleep throughout the night and to fall asleep faster.

Flurazepam is a medication known as a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepine are CNS (central nervous system) depressants, which are medications that effectively reduce the speed of the nervous system.

A metabolite with an extended half-life is produced by flurazepam, which means that this medication can be present in the bloodstream over the period of several days. There are also half-life intermediate benzodiazepines available, and these are specifically useful in patients who have a hard time sustaining sleep (temazepam, lormetazepam, or loprazolam).

Flurazepam can only be obtained with a valid prescription from your physician.

This medication is currently only available in capsules. It is currently manufactured under the US brand names of Dalmane and Dalmadorm.

Condition treated

  • Insomnia

Type of medicine

  • Benzodiazepine derivative

Side Effects

In addition to the many benefits flurazepam provides, medications can occasionally trigger side effects that may be undesirable. While it is not typical for each one of these side effects to take place, they could require medical care if they take place.

Consult with your physician right away if you experience any of the subsequent side effects.

Rare Side Effects (Medical Care Required)

  • Vision blurred
  • Tarry (black) stools
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Lightheadedness, faintness, or dizziness when arising abruptly from a sitting or lying position
  • Sensation of feeling faint, like you may pass out
  • Fever
  • Difficulty or pain urinating
  • Breath shortness
  • Speech slurred
  • Sore throat
  • White spots, ulcers, or sores within the mouth or on lips
  • Sweating
  • Glands swollen
  • Bruising or bleeding (unusual)
  • Weakness or tiredness (unusual)

Additional Side Effects ' Occurrence Rate Not Known (Medical Care Required)

  • Consciousness change
  • Movement is clumsy (especially when moving from one side to the other)
  • Confusion regarding time, place, and identity
  • Falling
  • Pulse racing, pounding, quickness, or irregularity
  • Heartbeat racing, pounding, quickness, or irregularity
  • Consciousness loss
  • Unsteady or shaky walk
  • Trembling, unsteadiness, or other issues regarding coordination or muscle control
  • Muscle control tiredness, sluggishness, dullness, or weakness

Certain side effects may occur but do not typically need medical care. These effects will likely disappear as your body becomes more adjusted to this medication. Your doctor will be able to inform you of methods to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If these side effects become prolonged, bothersome, or if you have questions or concerns regarding them, consult your physician.

Rare Side Effects (Medical Care Not Required)

  • Vision blurred
  • Bitter taste
  • Burning eyes
  • Focusing difficulty
  • Discouragement
  • Dry mouth
  • Unusual or false well-being sense
  • Warmth feelings
  • Empty or sad feelings
  • Hallucinations
  • Heightened symptoms of mouth watering
  • Skin itching
  • Appetite loss
  • Pleasure or interest loss
  • Mental or mood changes
  • Nightmares
  • Redness of the upper chest, arms, neck, and face
  • Restlessness
  • Skin rash
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Irritability, restlessness, nervousness, or excitement (unusual)
  • Weight loss

Additional Side Effects (Occurrence Rate Unknown) Medical Care Not Required

  • Diarrhea
  • Fear
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Talkativeness
  • Vomiting

Additional side effects not included on these lists may also take place for certain patients. If other side effects are observed, consult with your doctor.

Contact your physician if you are seeking medical advice regarding side effects. You also have the opportunity to report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Dosage

Only take flurazepam as recommended by your physician. Never take an amount that is greater, and do not take flurazepam more frequently than directed. Also, never take flurazepam for a longer duration than what your doctor prescribed.

This medication should be taken right before bed, when getting ready to sleep.

Different patients will receive different doses from their physician that corresponds with their unique medical situation. Always follow the instructions by your doctor or the directions printed by the pharmacist on the medication label. The subsequent information includes just the doses of flurazepam that are most common. Do not adjust your dose without approval from your physician.

The total quantity of medication you are prescribed will depend directly on how strong the flurazepam prescription is. Also, the amount of doses taken per day, the time allotted in between each dose, and the total duration for which you are prescribed the medication will depend on your medical issue that requires this medication.

 

For Treatment of Insomnia: Oral Capsule Dose

  • Adults should take 30 milligrams before going to bed. Your physician may be inclined to adjust this dose as your body either reacts or does not experience much relief from this dose.
  • Elderly adults need to take a lower dose, and should take 15 milligrams before bed. The doctor will need to monitor the patient, and may adjust the dose as required.
  • Parents of children under 18 should seek advice from their doctor regarding specific dosage information.

Missed Dose

If a dose of this medication is missed, allow the skipped dose to remain missed and you should return to the original dosing schedule. Never take a double dose of flurazepam.

Interactions

Drug Interactions

Some medications should never be combined for use at the same time, however other circumstances may warrant the combination of two medications despite possibility of interaction. Under these circumstances, your physician will likely lower the dose for either medication or they may take additional precautions. While on flurazepam, it is imperative that your medical care professional is aware if you are already prescribed any of the following medications. The interactions on the list below have been chosen due to their possible significance. These lists are not all-inclusive.

It is not recommended to take flurazepam with the following medication. Your physician may change the medications you are taking, or they may not choose to prescribe flurazepam.

  • Flumazenil

Taking flurazepam with the medications below is not typically recommended, but certain unique cases may necessitate the combination. If both medications are prescribed simultaneously, your physician may decide to adjust the dose or frequency rate for either or both medications.

  • Zolpidem
  • Tramadol
  • Thiopental
  • Tapentadol
  • Sufentanil
  • Sodium Oxybate
  • Secobarbital
  • Remifentanil
  • Propoxyphene
  • Primidone
  • Phenobarbital
  • Periciazine
  • Pentobarbital
  • Pentazocine
  • Oxymorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Morphine
  • Mirtazapine
  • Methohexital
  • Methocarbamol
  • Methadone
  • Metaxalone
  • Meprobamate
  • Mephobarbital
  • Mephenesin
  • Meperidine
  • Meclizine
  • Levorphanol
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Flibanserin
  • Fentanyl
  • Ethchlorvynol
  • Doxylamine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Dantrolene
  • Codeine
  • Chlorzoxazone
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Carisoprodol
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Butorphanol
  • Butalbital
  • Butabarbital
  • Buprenorphine
  • Bromopride
  • Bromazepam
  • Anileridine
  • Amobarbital
  • Alfentanil

The use of flurazepam in addition to the medications below could cause a heightened risk of some side effects. The combination of both medications could prove to be the most optimal course of treatment for you. If both medications are prescribed simultaneously, your physician may adjust the dose for either medication or may change the frequency of use.

  • Amprenavir
  • St John's Wort
  • Theophylline

Other Interactions

Some medications should not be taken near mealtime or when eating particular kinds of food due to the possibility of interaction taking place. The use of tobacco or alcohol in addition to some medications can increase likelihood of interaction. The interactions listed here were chosen due to how significant an interaction with flurazepam may be if taken at the same time. This list is not all-inclusive.

Medical Interactions

Patients with additional medical issues could experience problems with the effectiveness of this flurazepam. Ensure that your physician is aware if you have pre-existing medical issues, particularly:

  • Alcohol abuse (including history of)
  • Drug dependence or abuse (including history of) take caution; patients may experience a dependence for this medication
  • Lung disease or breathing issues (severe)
  • Depression (including history of) take caution; conditions can be made worse
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease' take caution; the body may not remove the medication as quickly'patient may experience increased side effects

Warnings

It is highly essential that your progress be monitored by your doctor regularly to ensure that flurazepam is working as it should. Doctors also must monitor for side effects that are unwanted.

Women who are currently pregnant or may become pregnant should not take flurazepam as it can cause harm to the fetus. Always have a type of birth control in place when taking this medication to ensure that you will not become pregnant. If you suspect that you are pregnant and have already been taking this medication, consult with your physician immediately.

Anaphylaxis is a severe kind of allergic reaction that can occur when taking flurazepam. This allergic reaction can be deadly and emergency medical care is required. If you experience any kind of swelling of your mouth, face, or hands, difficulty swallowing, breathing trouble, hoarseness, hives, or itching; stop taking flurazepam right away and contact your physician.

This medication can contribute to the effects of CNS depressants and alcohol. CNS depressants are medications that reduce the speed of the nervous system, potentially triggering sleepiness. CNS depressants include allergy, hay fever, or cold medication; dental anesthetics; numbing medications; muscle relaxants; barbiturates (seizures); narcotics or prescription pain medications; sleeping medications, tranquilizers, or sedatives; or antihistamines. Patients should be aware that side effects from flurazepam can last for several days after dosage has ended. Consult with your physician prior to taking the medications listed above while on flurazepam.

Certain patients, including elderly patients, may become more lightheaded, dizzy, clumsy, drowsy, less alert, or unsteady than normal when taking flurazepam. This medication is typically taken at night, however it can still make certain patients feel especially lagged, less alert, or drowsy the following day. Flurazepam can even cause vision issues, including double vision. Always know how you react to medications prior to driving while on them. Be sure that you are aware of how you personally react to flurazepam prior to operating machinery, driving, or doing any type of dangerous activity if you cannot see or think well.

If you experience behaviors or thoughts that are strange or unusual while on flurazepam, always consult with your physician. Patients can experience changes that are similar for individuals who drink an excessive amount of alcohol. Additional changes that can occur are intensified depression, confusion, hallucinations (feeling, hearing, or seeing things that do not exist), excitement that is unusual, irritability, nervousness, or suicidal thoughts.

Flurazepam may trigger certain types of behaviors while sleeping. These kinds of behaviors include sleep-driving, or sleep-walking. Even extreme behaviors while sleeping can occur, including calling people on the phone, having sex, and eating or preparing food while asleep. If you experience these behaviors, contact your doctor immediately.

Consult with your physician prior to stopping this medication. Your physician may request for you to reduce the dose over time gradually, prior to quitting it outright. Gradually stopping this medication could aid in the prevention of your condition becoming worsened and it can also lower the likelihood of withdrawl symptoms taking place. Withdrawl symptoms could include tremors, muscle or stomach cramps, hallucinations, seizures (convulsions), or atypical behaviors.

Tell your doctor if your condition is worse or does not become better after taking flurazepam for 7 to 10 days.

Patients must always compare the possible risks of any medication against the benefits it could provide. You should discuss this with your doctor and make the decision together. When considering flurazepam, take note of the following aspects:

Allergies

Inform your physician if you have previously experienced reactions that are unusual to any medication, including to flurazepam. Also inform your doctor if you have allergies to animals, preservatives, dyes, or foods. Patients should carefully read the ingredients list for products that are not prescription to determine if they might trigger allergies.

Specific Demographic Use

Pediatric

Current research has not examined whether or not age impacts the beneficial effects of this medication for use in children. Children under 15 years old should avoid flurazepam as it has not yet been determined whether or not the medication is effective and safe for them.

Geriatric

Current research has not found that there are issues specific to the geriatric population that could inhibit how flurazepam is effective for elderly patients. However, serious clumsiness, confusion, unsteadiness, dizziness, or drowsiness have a higher likelihood of occurring for the elderly, who may need a lower dose of the medication.

Pregnancy

Breastfeeding

Women who are currently pregnant or who could become pregnant in the future should avoid flurazepam because it can injure the fetus. Patients on flurazepam should have a method of birth control in place prior to beginning the medication to ensure they will not become pregnant. If you suspect that you are pregnant and have been taking flurazepam, consult with your doctor immediately.

Storage

Flurazepam should be kept in a medication container stored far from especially hot or freezing temperatures and away from direct light and moisture. Keep this medication at room temperature.

Do not keep this medication in a location where children can easily reach.

Medication that is no longer required or that is expired should be disposed of. Consult with your medical care professional to determine how to dispose of unused flurazepam.

Summary

Flurazepam aids patients in sleeping longer throughout the night and falling asleep faster. It can also treat insomnia (mild to moderate cases). Patients who may benefit from this medication are those who tend to wake up frequently during the night, those who have trouble sleeping, or usually wake up very early in the morning. Flurazepam should only be used as a short-term remedy.