Highlights for temazepam

  1. Temazepam oral capsule is available as a brand-name drug and a generic drug. Brand name: Restoril.
  2. Temazepam comes only as a capsule you take by mouth.
  3. Temazepam is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia (trouble sleeping).

Important warnings

FDA warning: Dangerous effects with opioid use

  • This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • Using temazepam with opioid drugs can cause dangerous effects. These can include severe drowsiness, slowed breathing, coma, and death. If your doctor prescribes temazepam with an opioid, they will monitor you closely. Examples of opioids include hydrocodone, codeine, and tramadol.

Other warnings

  • Abnormal thoughts and behavior warning: Temazepam can cause abnormal thoughts and behaviors. Some people, while taking this drug have driven, prepared and eaten food, made phone calls, or had sex at times when they were not completely conscious. Call your doctor immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.
  • Severe allergic reaction warning: This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Call 911 or go to the emergency room right away if you have swelling of your face, tongue, or throat or you have trouble breathing. A severe allergic reaction may cause death. You shouldn’t take this medication again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it.
  • Severe drowsiness warning: Even if you take temazepam as prescribed, you may still have severe drowsiness and impairment the next day. You shouldn’t drive or do other activities for which you need to be alert until you feel fully awake.
  • Withdrawal warning: You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking temazepam suddenly. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious and include seizures, shakiness, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, and sweating. Mild withdrawal symptoms can include depressed mood and trouble sleeping. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking this drug.

What is temazepam?

Temazepam comes as a capsule you take by mouth. This drug is a controlled substance. It can be misused, and its use can lead to dependence.

Temazepam is available as the brand-name drug Restoril. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

Temazepam may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Temazepam is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. This is a sleep problem that includes trouble falling asleep as well as waking up often during the night.

How it works

Temazepam belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Temazepam works by increasing the action of a substance in your body called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA sends signals through your nervous system that can improve sleep. When you take temazepam, the effects of GABA are increased in your body.

Temazepam side effects

Temazepam oral capsule causes drowsiness. It can also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of temazepam can include:

  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • nausea

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Doing things while not completely conscious or with no memory of it occurring, such as:
    • eating
    • talking
    • having sex
    • driving a car
    • sleepwalking
  • Abnormal thoughts and behavior. Symptoms can include:
    • behavior that is more outgoing and aggressive than normal
    • confusion
    • agitation
    • hallucinations
    • worsened depression
    • suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Anxiety
  • Severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
    • swelling of the tongue or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • nausea
    • vomiting

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Temazepam may interact with other medications

Temazepam oral capsule can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with temazepam are listed below.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Taking temazepam with certain drugs increases your risk of side effects, such as drowsiness. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Phenothiazines, such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, promethazine, and thioridazine
  • Barbiturates, such as amobarbital, butabarbital, and pentobarbital
  • Sedatives or hypnotics, such as eszopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem
  • Anxiolytics, such as alprazolam, clonazepam, lorazepam, midazolam, and triazolam
  • Sedative antihistamines, such as brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine, and doxylamine
  • Anesthetics, such as etomidate, propofol, and ketamine
  • Antidepressants, such as fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, and nefazodone
  • Narcotic analgesics, such as buprenorphine, codeine, dihydrocodeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, tapentadol, and tramadol

Taking temazepam with certain drugs puts you at serious risk of severe drowsiness, slowed breathing, coma, or death. These drugs include:

  • Opioids, such as morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

Temazepam warnings

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

Temazepam can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • swelling of your tongue or throat
  • trouble breathing
  • nausea
  • vomiting

If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Drowsiness warning

Temazepam oral capsule causes drowsiness and may cause dizziness. You should not take temazepam unless you are able to stay in bed and get a full night’s sleep (7–8 hours) before you must be active again. This drug should be taken right before you get in bed.

Alcohol interaction warning

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of side effects such as drowsiness, sleepiness, confusion, and doing activities in your sleep without knowing. Do not take temazepam if you drink alcohol.

Warnings for people with depression

If you have been diagnosed with depression, you may be at an increased risk of worsening depression and suicidal thoughts while you take this drug. Your doctor should prescribe the lowest dosage necessary to help you with your sleep problems.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Temazepam is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy. Women of childbearing age should use reliable birth control while taking this drug.

For women who are breastfeeding: It isn’t known whether temazepam is passed in breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: As you age, your body processes drugs more slowly. Because of that, it’s recommended that your maximum starting dosage of temazepam be 7.5 mg once per day, immediately before bedtime.

For children: This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children younger than 18 years.

How to take temazepam

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Dosage for insomnia

Generic: Temazepam

  • Form: oral capsule
  • Strengths: 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 22.5 mg, 30 mg

Brand: Restoril

  • Form: oral capsule
  • Strengths: 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 22.5 mg, 30 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • The typical starting dosage is 15 mg per day, taken right before bedtime.
  • Your dosage may range between 7.5 mg per day and 30 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that temazepam is safe and effective for use in children younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The typical dosage is 7.5 mg per day, taken right before bedtime.

Dosage warning

Taking a dosage higher than what your doctor prescribed increases your risk of extreme drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

Take as directed

Temazepam oral capsule is used for short-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: If you don’t take temazepam at all, your sleep problems may not get better. If you suddenly stop taking temazepam, you may experience withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • stomach or muscle cramps
  • vomiting
  • sweating

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: If you miss a dose, you may not sleep as well as you would if you took the drug. This drug should be taken immediately before bedtime. If you take it too early, you may feel sleepy before your bedtime. If you take the medication too late, your risk of drowsiness the next morning increases.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms can range from excessive drowsiness to coma.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: If you don’t take your medication right before bedtime and remember to take it with less than 7 or 8 hours left to sleep, don’t take the medication.

How to tell if the drug is working: You should see an improvement in your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Important considerations for taking temazepam

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes temazepam for you.

General

  • Take temazepam immediately before bedtime.

Storage

  • Store temazepam at a temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Availability

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries it.

Prior authorization

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.