What is Temazepam?

K.C. Bruning

Temazepam is typically prescribed to treat severe insomnia. The drug works by altering unbalanced brain chemicals so that patients can both fall and stay asleep. It is usually only prescribed for short-term use. Temazepam is from the benzodiazepine group of drugs.

Grogginess is a common side effect of temazepam.
Grogginess is a common side effect of temazepam.

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs. They work by encouraging the neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for sedation. In addition to insomnia, they can be effective as a muscle relaxant and for treating anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and convulsions.

Temazepam can help people with insomnia fall asleep and stay asleep.
Temazepam can help people with insomnia fall asleep and stay asleep.

Due to a high risk of patient tolerance and addiction, Temazepam is usually only prescribed for periods of two to four weeks. Tolerance can decrease the effectiveness of the drug, making it necessary for the patient to take more in order to achieve the same results. This increases the danger of overdose. The drug is also given for the shortest period of time and in the lowest dose possible in order to lower the chances of patient dependence.

Temazepam comes in capsule form. The drug typically takes about seven to ten days to reach full effectiveness. It is usually taken once a day, if it is needed, at bedtime. The drug tends to work quickly and most patients will require at least seven to eight hours of sleep after taking it. Patients who get up before the drug has worn off may have difficulty functioning normally and experience symptoms such as memory loss.

After taking temazepam, some patients will get out of bed and engage in activities such as making phone calls, preparing and eating food, or driving a car while still partially asleep. Often patients will have no memory of these events. Due to potential hazards as a result of the actions of patients while in this state, most doctors will recommend discontinuing use of the medication in this kind of situation.

Some of the most common mild side effects of temazepam include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The drug may also make some patients feel groggy or drowsy. Other potential side effects include headache, forgetfulness, weak muscles, poor coordination and balance, and irritability. These symptoms should only be reported to a doctor if they become severe or persist.

The serious side effects of taking temazepam should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible. These include any sign of an allergic reaction, such as swelling in the areas from the neck up, hives, and problems breathing or swallowing. Some patients may also experience flu-like symptoms, fever, or chills. Thoughts of suicide or self harm, hallucinations, and aggression or agitation should be reported to a medical professional immediately.

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