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What Are the Side Effects of Temazepam?

By Debra Durkee
Updated May 17, 2024
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Temazepam is a prescription medication used in individuals suffering from temporary insomnia. As a sleep aid, the medication causes drowsiness that lasts up to eight hours, and interrupting sleep before this time can result in side effects such as memory loss or feelings of depression. Other side effects include difficulty waking up the morning after taking the medication and gastrointestinal distress such as nausea. Previously existing conditions such as pregnancy, mental illness, or taking other medications can potentially make side effects of temazepam worse.

Gastrointestinal distress is the most common of the side effects of temazepam, and can include nausea, a dizzy feeling whether standing up or lying down, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. As the medication is typically prescribed for only a short time, these side effects may disappear as the body adjusts to the medication. One of the effects of the medication is to allow the body to fall asleep in a more natural way, so most individuals are weaned off the medication in approximately a week.

The medication works by slowing brain function, so some of the side effects impact mental awareness. The day after taking the medication, an individual may continue to feel tired or groggy even after getting a full night's sleep. Some medical professionals will recommend limiting activities such as driving that can become potentially dangerous while functioning in this state.

Changes in mood or personality may also go along with taking the medication. An individual may become uncharacteristically aggressive or angry, relate to other individuals differently, become more outgoing, or develop signs of depression and thoughts of suicide. These side effects of temazepam are rare, but can be so severe that the individual is unaware that anything is different and must rely on friends and family to guide him toward medical attention. Previously existing difficulties with depression can make these side effects worse.

Some individuals have been known to perform activities while sleeping after taking temazepam. In addition to sleep walking, there have been instances of an individual driving, eating, cooking, or holding full, seemingly coherent conversations while completely asleep. Typically, he has no recollection of these events in the morning, and can also suffer from loss of other memories, anxiety, or a restlessness that develops after performing these tasks. Some medical professionals will recommend an individual on the medication be supervised in order to prevent this from happening, and in cases where these side effects of temazepam happen, the prescription will generally be stopped.

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