Temazepam (Oral)

Patients that suffer from non-acute insomnia may find relief with Temazepam, a prescription-strength benzodiazepine that can be used from 7 to 10 days under the advice and direction of a physician.

Overview:

Temazepam is used to treat temporary cases of insomnia and should not be taken longer than seven to 10 days. This drug requires a prescription and patients should closely follow all directions given to them by their physician. Patients may experience sleep-time activities such as talking, walking, driving, cooking, and eating, all of which should be guarded against to protect the health and safety of the patient.

Patients that find Temazepam an effective treatment for their insomnia report that it takes less time for them to fall asleep, they experience a deeper sleep with fewer interruptions and occurrences of wakefulness, and feel more rested and refreshed the next day. There have been incidences of a "hangover" effect the following morning reported by some patients, but not all users experience this phenomenon.

The use of this medication has been known to cause a possibly life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. Signs of this condition such as difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the tongue, throat, mouth, itching, difficulty swallowing, or any swelling of the hands, mouth, face, tongue, or throat when this medicine is used should be immediately shared with the prescribing doctor and the patient should seek emergency treatment. Patients need to follow the instructions of their doctor and not take additional medication or take this drug for a period longer than that advised by their physician. It is possible to experience symptoms of withdrawal when ceasing taking Temazepam and any change in the dosage or regularity with which it is taken should be discussed with the prescribing doctor prior to implementing any changes.

It is possible to overdose on Temazepam and anyone taking this medication should avoid the use of alcohol, narcotic drugs, and any substance that depresses the central nervous system. Women who are pregnant, nursing, or are planning to become pregnant in the near future should not use Temazepam.

Conditions Treated:

  • Temporary Insomnia

Type of Medicine:

  • Benzodiazepine

Side Effects:

Patients who are taking Temazepam may experience one or more side effects and should discuss any areas of concern with their doctor as soon as possible. The signs of anaphylaxis, overdose, and withdrawal also need to be monitored when taking this medication in addition to watching for possible side effects.

Because it is possible to overdose on Temazepam patients must be aware of the signs of overdose and seek immediate medical attention if they occur:

Emergency Treatment Necessary (Possible Signs of Overdose):

  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficult or troubled breathing
  • Irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • Pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Decreased or absent reflexes
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Change in consciousness
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

In addition to the possibility of overdose, there are a number of side effects that have known to occur in patients taking Temazepam. If any of the side effects listed below occur, it is important to contact the prescribing physician immediately:

Possible:

  • Fear irritability, or nervousness
  • An unusual sense of well-being or unwarranted feelings of euphoria
  • Mood swings or changes in mental state

Unlikely:

  • Difficult or labored breathing or other issues of the respiratory system
  • Unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
  • Loss of appetite or changes in overall eating habits
  • Uncontrolled eye movements and twitches
  • Nightmares or excessively vivid dreams
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)
  • Wheezing, with or without shortness of breath
  • Shakiness and unsteady gait
  • Difficulty with sleeping
  • Problems with memory
  • Unsteadiness, tremors, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • Loss of memory
  • Weight loss
  • An irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Wheezing

Possibly Occurring:

  • Muscle cramps and other aches
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Shaking and/or tremors in hands or feet
  • Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet

In addition to the side effects that require swift medical attention, Temazepam has also been reported to cause less severe side effects. The side effects below will likely dissipate on their own and do not require medical attention except in cases when they worsen or linger longer than a few days:

Possible:

  • Diarrhea
  • Unusual dullness or feeling of sluggishness
  • Nausea
  • A feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • The sensation of spinning
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth

Unlikely:

  • Burning or other discomforts of the eyes
  • A backache and other stiffness

This is not a comprehensive list of side effects, and others that are not listed here may occur. Patients that experience any side effect about which they are concerned should discuss them with their doctor.

In addition to the side effects above, other medical conditions can cause complications for patients using Temazepam. Prescribing doctors will evaluate each individual case and determine if Temazepam is an appropriate medication for their patients that suffer from these conditions. Any patient that is suffering from any of the conditions listed below should check with their physician prior to taking any new medication.

  • Alcohol or drug abuse or addiction
  • Kidney disease
  • Breathing problems or lung disease
  • Mental illness
  • Mental depression
  • Liver disease

Dosage:

The dosage guidelines for patients taking Temazepam (Oral Route) are only the typical dosing protocols and all patients should follow the dosage instructions that have been provided by their physicians.

Adults typically take one dose of 15mg at bedtime, or as advised by their doctor. Generally speaking, most patients find Temazepam most effective when taken 30 minutes prior to bedtime.

Patients' experiences vary on how long they need between taking the dosage and wakening, with variation between all cases.
The standard dosage for elderly patients is one half of the regular dose or 7.5mg taken before retiring.

Any children that are prescribed this medication should follow the direction provided by their doctor.

Do not take more of this medication than what is advised by the doctor, and do not take for longer than the recommended period of time of seven to 10 days. As there are possible withdrawal symptoms associated with the use of this drug, it is imperative that patients follow the advice of their physicians and do not alter the prescribed dosage in any way.

Due to the temporary nature of this drug, the protocol is to use Temazepam for only seven to 10 days, a missed dose should only be taken within a few hours of the regularly scheduled time. Check with the doctor to learn more about how many hours prior to awakening in the morning that one needs to take Temazepam.

Major Drug Interactions:

Patients that are currently taking Flumazenil will likely be advised by their physicians to not take Temazepam as it has major interactions that can be potentially harmful when both drugs are taken. An alternative drug may be prescribed by the physician as it is not advised to take Flumazenil and Temazepam at the same time due to the negative interaction that can occur.

The drugs listed below can be taken concurrently with Temazepam under a doctor's supervision. They may adjust the dosage or amount of time that the drug is taken; patients that are currently taking one of the medicines below should discuss their use thoroughly with their doctor.

Other drugs that have shown to have negative interactions with Temazepam are:

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

Patients who are taking the drugs listed above should discuss their use with their physician who may opt to prescribe an alternative drug to Temazepam or advise on which side effects to look out for when taking both medications. Prior to beginning treatment with Temazepam, patients should discuss all drugs that they are currently using including prescription and non-prescription as well as any herbal remedies, vitamins, or mineral supplements that are taking.

The three medicines that are listed below may also cause side effects when used concurrently with Temazepam but in many instances, both are used at the same time, usually by varying the doses taken or under other advice provided by the patient's doctor.

  • Theophylline
  • St John's Wort
  • Rifapentine

Warnings:

It is important that patients who are taking Temazepam for treatment of temporary insomnia be aware of the fact that this drug can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. Signs of this condition include difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the tongue, itching, difficulty with swallowing, the incidence of swelling of the patient's face, hands, tongue, or throat when using Temazepam. Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should notify their doctor immediately and seek emergency treatment.

This drug should never be taken by women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant in the immediate future. Use of a proven form of birth control while taking Temazepam is strongly advised and the prescribing doctor should be notified immediately if the patient becomes pregnant. This is not an appropriate medicine for women that are experiencing insomnia that is often associated with pregnancy.

Temazepam has many sleep-related activities that must be watched, such as sleepwalking, driving and eating and cooking while asleep, engaging in sexual activities, and talking in one's sleep. Whenever possible the patient should establish precautionary measures to protect themselves and minimize the risks that can occur when any of the above behaviors are exhibited. If the patient experiences any of the above activities while taking Temazepam be sure to notify the physician immediately. The prescribing doctor may be able to offer strategies to counteract these sleep activities or lessen their impact.

Due to its effect on the central nervous system, Temazepam should not be used in combination with narcotic drugs and should never be taken with alcohol. Any substance that is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant should be avoided by any patient that is taking Temazepam for treatment of their temporary insomnia. It is always best practice to thoroughly discuss any medications, supplements, vitamins or minerals that the patient is taking prior to starting Temazepam to treat insomnia.
Taking any drug that depresses the CNS should be avoided, some such drugs are the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Anesthetics (numbing medicines)
  • Hay fever medication
  • Barbiturates (used for seizures)
  • Cold medications
  • Prescription-strength pain medicine
  • Sleep Aids
  • Tranquilizers
  • Narcotics
  • Sedatives
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Allergy drugs
  • Dental anesthetics

This drug has been known to cause lightheadedness, confusion, create a feeling of drowsiness where the patient feels less aware of their surroundings, fainting, and clumsiness. As this drug is taken prior to sleep, some of the drug's effects can linger after waking causing the patient to feel groggy and confused. It is important that patients understand how their bodies will react to Temazepam before they drive the morning after taking the drug, or operate heavy machinery or perform other tasks that require a high-level of alertness.

Temazepam should not be used at the same time as drinking alcohol or taking other narcotics. When ceasing taking this drug, patients must be sure to discuss the schedule with their physician as there is a likelihood of withdrawal symptoms with Temazepam. Unusual feelings and behaviors should be discussed with the patient's physician as soon as possible. Drinking alcohol while taking Temazepam can lead to odd and even harmful behavior and should be avoided.

Depression has been reported to worsen in some patients while taking this medication and all mental health issues should be addressed prior to starting Temazepam as an insomnia treatment. Other patients have reported confusion, hallucinations, irritability, and nervousness. Patients who are taking Temazepam and experience suicidal thoughts are advised that it is imperative to discuss them with their medical provider immediately. Patients currently being treated by a mental health professional should advise them of their potential use of Temazepam and allow them to offer their input to the prescribing physician. They should also be notified of any potentially harmful thoughts or actions that the drug causes.

It is possible to overdose on Temazepam and if there is a suspicion that someone has taken too much of this drug they should be given emergency treatment as soon as possible. The main signs of an overdose include a loss of consciousness and breathing problems. The likelihood of overdose is increased when this drug is used with alcohol or narcotic drugs. If there are concerns about drug and alcohol abuse on the part of the patient, these issues should be discussed with the prescribing doctor thoroughly prior to the use of this medication.

Storage:

It is always best to store all medications in their original packaging. Protect this medication from extreme heat and cold. Keep away from moisture and direct light. Do not allow this medication to freeze.

Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.

Speak with the pharmacist or doctor about the proper disposal of any unused or expired medications.

Summary:

Temazepam is an effective treatment for patients who suffer from non-acute insomnia and are seeking relief from a temporary condition. This drug should not be taken for a period longer than seven to 10 days. This medication works to depress the central nervous system (CNS) and any drug that performs a similar task, such as anti-depressants, should be avoided. It is important to avoid the use of alcohol and narcotic drugs when taking Temazepam.

Patients have reported that it takes less time to fall asleep, they awaken fewer times during the night, and generally feel more rested the following day. The drug can cause a "hangover" effect the next morning in some patients, but not all patients report this effect. It is important to discuss all drugs, prescription and over the counter, supplements, and herbal remedies that the patient is currently taking prior to beginning treatment with Temazepam.

The life-threatening condition of anaphylaxis can occur when using Temazepam and patients should notify their doctor immediately and seek emergency treatment if they experience any of the signs of this condition.

Patients that experience intermittent insomnia and are not currently taking another central nervous system (CNS) depressant may experience relief when using Temazepam (Oral Route). This drug has many side effects, can cause overdose, and anaphylaxis and needs to only be used under the direction and supervision of their doctor.

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Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
April 05, 2018
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