What is temazepam? (7 key facts)

Temazepam is a part of a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Temazepam works by altering chemicals in the brain that may be out of balance in people who experience problems with sleep. 

This drug is often prescribed to help treat insomnia symptoms, such as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Temazepam works by slowing down the central nervous system (brain), causing drowsiness which helps patients fall asleep.

What is some important information I should know before taking Temazepam?

If you are pregnant, do not use this drug. Temazepam can cause a baby to be born with birth defects or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

If you are a woman who is sexually active, it is crucial that you utilize effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while employing this medicine.

In some rare cases, users of Temazepam have reported engaging in activities such as driving, eating, and making phone calls, and then later on they had no recollection of doing these activities.

Terminate taking temazepam and discuss with your doctor about alternative sleep disorder treatments and therapy if this occurs with you.

If you take temazepam with alcohol, with opioid medicine, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing, fatal side effects could occur.

Temazepam has been found to have a habit-forming potential and it should never be used by anyone who it was not directly prescribed to by their medical provider.

Never share temazepam with anyone else, as this is strictly prohibited by the law and sharing it with someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction could be incredibly dangerous for them.

Store the medication in a secure place where only you know where it is and only you can access it.

Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.

Temazepam has the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction in users.

Seek immediate medical attention and terminate taking this medication if you experience any of the following signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Take this medication only once you are getting ready for an entire night’s worth of sleep.

You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to temazepam or to other benzodiazepines (alprazolam, xanax, valium, or others).

Before taking this medication, ensure that this medication is safe for you to use by telling your doctor if you have or have a history of: 

  • lung disease or breathing problems;
  • depression or mental illness;
  • suicidal thoughts; or
  • drug or alcohol addiction.

If you are pregnant, do not use this drug. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects.

Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

If you use this medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug.

This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born.

Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.

It is most likely unsafe to breastfeed while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Temazepam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take temazepam?

Take temazepam exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides thoroughly.

Only use the medication in the exact amounts and at the exact intervals as directed by your medical care provider.

Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed.

Notify your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.

Temazepam has the potential to be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death.

Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Even if someone you know has the same symptoms as you, do not share your prescription with them.

They can ask their medical provider to prescribe it to them. 

Only take temazepam when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine.

Do not take temazepam unless you are able to get a full night’s sleep before you must be active again.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

Temazepam is only supposed to be used for a short period of time to treat insomnia.

Notify your doctor if your symptoms do not subside after 7 to 10 nights of treatment, or if this medicine’s effectiveness seems to decrease in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Do not stop using this medicine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

Keep this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine.

You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.

Temazepam dosing information

  • Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia: 7.5 to 30 mg orally once a day at bedtime
  • In transient insomnia, a 7.5 mg dose may be sufficient to improve sleep latency.
  • In elderly or debilitated patients, therapy should be initiated at 7.5 mg until individual responses are determined for short-term treatment of insomnia (generally 7 to 10 days)

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, do not ever take temazepam if you do not have at least 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again.

Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

If you overdose seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Helpline at 1-800-222-1222.

An overdose of temazepam can lead to fatality, especially if it is taken concurrently with alcohol.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, or loss of consciousness and coma.

What should I avoid while taking temazepam?

While taking temazepam, avoid driving or participating in hazardous activity until you know how this medicine affects you specifically.

Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking temazepam.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

What are the side effects of Temazepam?

Temazepam has the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction.

Terminate taking this medicine and seek emergency medical attention if you experience signs of an allergic reaction to temazepam: hives; difficulty breathing; nausea, vomiting; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as walking, driving, eating, having sex, or making phone calls and later had no memory of the activity.

If this happens to you, notify your doctor right away.

Call your doctor at once if you experience:

  • confusion, agitation, hostility, hallucinations;
  • anxiety, memory problems;
  • depressed mood; or
  • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.

The sedative effects of temazepam may last for longer periods of time in older adults.

Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who utilize benzodiazepines.

Common temazepam side effects may include:

  • day-time drowsiness or “hangover” feeling;
  • headache;
  • dizziness, tiredness;
  • nausea; or
  • feeling nervous.

What other drugs will affect temazepam?

Utilizing temazepam along with other drugs that cause you to become sleepy or slow your breathing can lead to dangerous side effects or death.

Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with temazepam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Temazepam and Insomnia:

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by having difficulty falling and/ or staying asleep.

People with this condition usually have difficulty falling asleep, wake up often during the night, and have trouble going back to sleep.

The condition can be short-term (acute) or can last a long time (chronic). It may also come and go.

Acute insomnia lasts from one night to a few weeks. Insomnia is chronic when it happens at least three nights a week for three months or more.

What are the different types of insomnia?

Primary insomnia: This means your sleep problems aren’t linked to any other health condition or problem.

Secondary insomnia: This means you have trouble sleeping because of a health condition like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer or heartburn, or some other contributor like pain, medication or substance use (e.g. alcohol).

What are the signs and symptoms of insomnia?

Symptoms of insomnia include sleepiness or drowsiness during the day, fatigue, grumpiness and problems with concentration or memory.

Other things which point to insomnia are trouble falling asleep in the first place, failure to sleep through the night, waking up earlier than usual and irritability.

Insomnia itself can often be a symptom of another problem. You should call your doctor if you experience disturbed sleep for more than a month without an apparent cause.

Also if you never seem to get enough sleep or fall asleep suddenly during the day. 

If you have sleep medication that is no longer working, or you have been taking medication for more than a few nights with no discernible success you should also seek out a medical professional.

Interested? Here are some books to continue learning about Temazepam…

End the Insomnia Struggle: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Get to Sleep and Stay Asleep

Everyone struggles with sleep from time to time, but when sleepless nights and overtired days become the norm, your well-being is compromised, and frustration and worry increase—including concerns about what’s stopping you from getting the sleep you need, and what can be done about it.

End the Insomnia Struggle offers a comprehensive, medication-free program that can be individually tailored for anyone who struggles with insomnia. 

The 4-Week Insomnia Workbook: A Drug-Free Program to Build Healthy Habits and Achieve Restful Sleep

Counting sheep, doing a headstand or wearing socks won’t get you to sleep. Good news—addressing the root causes of your insomnia can.

This book will get you from stressed to sleep in just four weeks with a range of proven drug-free strategies.

With The 4-Week Insomnia Workbook as your guide, you’ll learn the latest CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) and mindfulness practices to get to the bottom of your sleepless nights.

Throughout this program, you’ll tackle the thoughts and feelings that keep you up at night and establish a sleep-hygiene routine that works for you.

The Book of Sleep: 75 Strategies to Relieve Insomnia

Make your bed and actually sleep in it. The Book of Sleep provides dozens of quick, easy, and evidence-based strategies that are more effective and sustainable than sleep medication for people who suffer from insomnia.

Based in CBT-I (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia), the techniques in this book were developed by a clinical psychologist who specializes in insomnia treatment.

Find the relief you need and wake up feeling truly restored. A good night’s sleep isn’t just a dream anymore.

Temazepam; Second Edition, G.J. Blokdijk

With lots of room to note down your doctor’s answers and an extensive index, this book is a must-have for anyone who has, or is about to have, Temazepam prescription medication, and indispensable for healthcare providers who want to make sure they are able to answer every question.


Insomnia is Treatable Sleep Foundation.org – January 2020

Insomnia NHS.uk – January 2018

Diagnosing Insomnia – WebMD – October 2018

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