Temazepam (marketed under brand names Restoril, Normison) is a powerful hypnotic drug, which is a benzodiazepine derivative. It possesses powerful anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, amnestic, sedative and skeletal muscle relaxant properties.
Until recently temazepam was produced as a gel-filled capsule intended to be taken orally. However, it gained a certain notoriety in the United Kingdom, and especially Scotland, when it was discovered that if the capsules were melted and injected the effects were more potent and similar to alcohol. However, the liquid has a tendency to congeal in arteries and cause thrombosis and gangrene, in some cases requiring amputation.
Temazepam is commonly prescribed for insomnia and other sleep disorders. Temazepam is considered to be one of the most addictive of the benzodiazepines and thus not suited for long-term treatment. Street terms include "rugby balls", "terms", "jellies", "mazzies", "beans" and "eggs".
Temazepam is available in 7.5mg, 15mg and 30mg capsules.
It is available as 10 and 20mg tablets in the UK.
When used for treatment of insomnia, the usual dose is 7.5mg to 15mg taken at bedtime.
Usual UK doses (from BNF) are 20-40mg, max 40-60mg in exceptional circumstances.
Common side effects include:
Loss of appetite
Rare side effects include:
Neurological - Agitation, anxiety, mental confusion, depression, hallucinations, hangover, increased dreaming, lack of coordination, loss of equilibrium, amnesia, nightmares, restlessness, vertigo
Cardiovascular - Cardiac arrhythmia
Respiratory - Difficult or labored breathing, hypoventilation
Gastrointestinal - Abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting
Ocular - Blurred vision, burning sensation in eyes, nystagmus
Other - Abnormal sweating, backache, dry mouth, muscular weakness
Before taking temazepam, one should ensure that at least 8 hours are available to dedicate to sleep. Failing to do so can increase the side effects of the drug.
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