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Side Effects


Temazepam should be used with caution in: patients with respiratory disease, muscle weakness and myasthenia gravis, marked personality disorder, pregnancy, liver disease, kidney disease, or acute porphyria, or in the elderly, or if you have recently suffered a loss or bereavement because it may affect how you adjust to this.
Temazepam should be used with extreme caution in: patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse and in patients with personality disorders.

It should not be used in: patients with severe or acute respiratory ailments, severe liver problems, severe sleep apnoea (if you tend to stop breathing temporarily while you are asleep), severe muscle weakness, or any long term mental illness such as obsessions or phobias (irrational fears), anxiety, depression with or without anxiety (it may cause you to think more about suicide), glaucoma, or a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

Temazepam comes as a liquid medication that contains sorbitol and you should avoid this if you have fructose intolerance. It also contains some alcohol. You should speak to your doctor before taking this medication if you suffer from alcoholism, or have liver disease or epilepsy, you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if it is to be taken by a child.

Also see list of precautions and interactions


Store below 25°C in a dry place and protected from light.


What is it used for?:

  • Temazepam is used to treat sleep disorders or as a pre-medication if you are about to have surgery.
  • It is a benzodiazepine, a hypnotic medication, sometimes known as a sedative or a tranquiliser .
  • It is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia (sleeplessness) that is severe or is upsetting to the patient. It is also used as part of relaxing and preparing patients about to have surgery.
  • In general this drug is used to treat short term sleeplessness or as premedication before minor surgery. It is especially useful if you need a medication that works quickly or if you have a transient sleep disorder and normal sleep patterns are expected to return once the problems that are causing the sleeplessness have been resolved. It is also used as a pre-medication for patients about to undergo minor surgery, particularly those who are being treated as an outpatient.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include short term control of sleeplessness by decreasing the amount of time needed to fall asleep and increasing the amount of sleeping time, and the re-establishment of normal sleeping patterns. As a pre-medication, temazepam reduces anxiety (you relax) and has a sedative effect (making you drowsy).

Listed below are the typical uses of temazepam:

  • Short- term treatment of sleep disorders (especially for patients with temporary sleep disorders where normal sleep patterns are expected to return)
  • As premedication before minor surgery


How often do I take it?

  • Temazepam is supplied as tablets or a liquid. For sleep disorders, take this medication by mouth once each day before going to bed. As a pre-medication it is taken about half an hour to one hour before surgery.
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it. This medication should be taken for a maximum of 4 weeks. Longer use and sudden stopping should be avoided.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Temazepam has a sedative effect making you drowsy and may cause some memory loss and muscle weakness, all of which may harm your ability to drive or use machines. If the drug causes these effects avoid driving or using machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking it abruptly. If the medicine is stopped quickly side effects (withdrawal effects) may occur.


Known side effects are listed below. These side effects are likely to be worse if alcohol is taken with this medicine and are more likely if you are elderly.

  • Drowsiness
  • Sleepiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Unsteadiness
  • Numbed emotions
  • Reduced alertness
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slurred speech,
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Fatigue

Rarely reported side effects:

Other side effects that may occur:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Stomach upsets
  • Changes in vision
  • Skin rashes
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • A feeling of dizziness or “spinning”
  • Changes in sexual performance
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes due to liver or blood problems).
  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty in adjusting to loss or bereavement
  • Blood disorders (you may require tests by your doctor)

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then stop taking the medication and inform your doctor.

It is possible to become dependent on temazepam, especially if it is taken at high doses for a long time. If this occurs you might experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it too suddenly. Your doctor may advise you to cut down the dose gradually.

You may find that that your medicine becomes less effective at relieving your symptoms, which may mean you have become tolerant to the effects of temazepam.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, shock, or collapse.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking temazepam tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe respiratory disease (breathing difficulties), liver problems, sleep apnoea (tend to stop breathing temporarily while you are asleep), long term muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis), any long term mental illness such as obsessions or phobias (irrational fears), anxiety, depression with or without anxiety (it may cause you to think more about suicide), or glaucoma. You should not take this medicine if you are pregnant, might become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, or if you have or a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: breathing difficulties, kidney disease, liver disease, personality disorder, depression, or alcoholism, or if you have suffered a recent bereavement.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication. If you are having a general anaesthetic you should tell the doctor you are taking temazepam.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Yes. Alcohol should not be taken while you are taking temazepam.

The elderly: temazepam should be used with caution in the elderly. Usually elderly patients will need a reduced dose.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


Temazepam is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

First trimester: not recommended
Second trimester: not recommended
Third trimester: avoid; if taken during late pregnancy or labour, your baby may have low body temperature, floppiness and breathing and feeding difficulties. If taken regularly in late pregnancy, your baby may develop withdrawal symptoms.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Temazepam passes into breast milk. Avoid taking temazepam when breastfeeding and do so only after detailed discussion and approval from your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with temazepam:

  • General anaesthetics
  • Antidepressants and hypnotics, lofexidine and nabilone should be avoided as they will increase the effects of temazepam
  • Narcotic painkillers (e.g. codeine, morphine)
  • Antidepressants
  • Medicines to treat epilepsy
  • Medicines that help you relax and sleep
  • Antihistamines (used to treat allergy) that cause drowsiness
  • Monoamine- oxidase inhibitors (used to treat depression such as phenelzine)
  • Medicines to treat virus infections (including HIV, for example, ritonavir or zidovudine)
  • Medicines to treat high blood pressure (for example, moxonidine)
  • Disulfiram (used to treat alcoholism)
  • Lofexidine (used to treat drug dependence)
  • Nabilone (used to treat nausea and vomiting)
  • Medicines to treat mental illness (for example, clozapine)
  • Medicines that help you sleep
  • Medicines that relax your muscles (for example, baclofen or tizanidine)
  • Medicines used to treat Parkinson’s disease (for example, levodopa)

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


In case of overdose, you should immediately contact your doctor or your local hospital. Common symptoms of temazepam overdose are drowsiness, loss of co-ordination of movement, confusion and slurred speech. Occasionally low blood pressure (symptoms such as tiredness, light-headedness and fainting), breathing problems and coma may occur.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of temazepam or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you miss a dose, wait until the next dose is due and take that dose. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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