Temazepam is benzodiazepine used to manage insomnia, anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms. It is an intermediate-acting drug, which means the effects are longer lasting than some benzodiazepines and shorter than other benzodiazepines. This type of medication increases the levels of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid in the brain, which slows brain activity and slows the central nervous system.
Temazepam is primarily prescribed as a sleep aid to help patients sleep through the night. Benzodiazepines reduce muscle spasms that can keep patients awake, which is why patients with severe back pain are sometimes prescribed Temazepam. Other benefits can include a decrease in anxiety and relaxation of muscles. However, depending on the severity of anxiety, doctors may prescribe different medications to treat all the symptoms at once.
Tolerance to all benzodiazepine medications is quickly developed, and the drug is only prescribed for up to four weeks to avoid addiction. Side effects of temazepam include the following:
- Delayed Reactions
- Memory Problems
- Slurred Speech
Because temazepam is prescribed as a sleep aid, it is recommended that patients taking it or other benzodiazepine drugs do not operate motor vehicles or other heavy machinery or participate in activities that require stamina or quick reflexes.
Patients who have medical conditions relating to muscle coordination or strength, respiratory difficulties or mental issues requiring medication shouldconsult their physician before taking temazepam. These conditions can include the following:
- Acute Narrow-Angle Glaucoma
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Severe Hypoventilation
- Sleep Apnea
Women who are pregnant should avoid use of benzodiazepines such as temazepam.
Patients who have experienced allergic reactions to benzodiazepines in the past should not take temazepam.
Temazepam is not to be taken with alcohol or other depressants. A combination of benzodiazepine drugs and depressant substances can cause the body’s functions to slow to dangerous levels, potentially resulting in coma or death.
Symptoms of temazepam overdose include the following:
- Difficulty Balancing
- Slowed Breathing
- Dizziness with Nausea
- Excessive Sleeping
- Low Blood pressure
- Impaired Reflexes
Since temazepam is an addictive medication, withdrawal symptoms are common in patients who take the medication for longer than four weeks or are prescribed higher doses of the medication for more than two weeks. Withdrawal symptoms include heightened anxiety, insomnia and mental disturbances. Gradually reducing the medication instead of abruptly ceasing use will decrease these symptoms.
A knowledgeable doctor can evaluate the patient’s symptoms, review any other medications the patient is taking and then decide if temazepam is appropriate to treat the patient’s condition. Patients who experience severe symptoms as listed above after taking temazepam should contact their physician immediately.