What is Restoril (Temazepam) Used For?
Restoril (temazepam) is prescribed for insomnia and other sleep issues such as SOL, the term for sleep onset latency. Restoril has a fast onset effect that slows the central nervous system causing extreme drowsiness, and thus, may help with falling asleep. That would be a reduced SOL.
Fascinating sleep studies have been done on SOL. One such study suggested that the body keeps track of sleep debt, and that sleep deprivation reduces SOL in a somewhat predictable ratio. (1).
Restoril should only be used a maximum of 7 to 10 days or less to reduce SOL.
Restoril (Temazepam) Alternative Names and Slang
Some stimulant type drugs are nick-named GO-pills. Restoril, in contrast, is sometimes called NO-GO pills, due to the CNS dampening effects.
The generic drug name for Restoril is temazepam.
Restoril (Temazepam) Side Effects
One of the most concerning side effects of sleeping medications, including Restoril is that a person may do things while asleep that they do not have any recall of.
This can include sleep-driving, sleep-cooking, sleep-shopping, or other activities that one cannot remember doing the next morning. This may not happen to everyone, but a cautious and prudent approach would entail having someone to monitor overnight activity to avoid accidents or injuries to self or others.
Another tip is never to take Restoril before sleeping when the sleep window is not sufficient, for example, seven to eight hours. If one takes Restoril but only intends to sleep five hours, there may be considerable difficulties on awakening, as the drug will still be active in the system and the person will still be subject to sleep-walking or other cognitive impairment or unusual thoughts and behaviors.
One certainly should never drive or operate machinery in such circumstances.
Side effects from taking Restoril can vary from person to person. As the period of time that a person should take the drug is limited to a week or so, the side effects that are encountered should be monitored to ensure no health risks occur over that period of time.
Other commonly reported side effects can be mild to moderate or more severe, and include:
- A feeling of euphoria
- Blurring of vision
- Vertigo or dizzy feeling
- Feeling drowsy during normal waking hours
- Numbness or tingling skin
- Feeling irritable
- Increased anxiety
- Stomach pain or discomfort
- Dry mouth, increased thirst
There can be some other side effects that tend to be quite severe, and if these should present, immediate medical intervention may be required to prevent a life-threatening situation:
- Unusually shallow breathing, difficulty breathing
- Tachycardia, fast heartbeat, pounding heart, irregular heartbeats
- Slurring of speech
- Behavior that seems strange or unusual
- Thoughts that seem unusual or disturbing
- Suicidal thoughts
- Thinking about self-harm
- Restlessness that becomes intolerable
- Repetitive movements of muscles, tongue, jaw, neck, eyes, etc.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Flu like symptoms
- Clay colored stool
- Dark or painful urination
- Aggressive behaviors
- Allergic reaction including fever, chills, unconsciousness, raised welts, crusting or weeping sores on the skin, in the mouth or other mucous membranes.
- Signs of jaundice, yellowing skin or whites of the eyes may signal the need for medicatl attention without delay.
Generally, a person who is considering a sleeping aid such as Restoril will likely already be in a sleep-deprived state, and this can cause accident-proneness, drowsiness, and errors in judgment or spatial perception. Take care not to ask too much of yourself work-wise or even socially, until the sleep debt is more in control and the mind is refreshed and ready to take on more difficult cognitive tasks requiring alertness.
A word of caution when taking Restoril or any benzodiazepine drug, mixing it with alcohol, opiates or any other substance which slows the CNS can be fatal. Avoid this practice at all costs.
In 2011, the DEA reported an astounding 300,000 emergency hospital visits linked to benzodiazepines such as Restoril. Be responsible and vigilant in your use of any sleep medication for the sake of your safety and the safety of others. (1)
Restoril (Temazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms
Restoril withdrawal symptoms may not occur where the drug is only taken for a night or two. But the longer the drug is in the system, the more likely it is that Restoril withdrawal symptoms will occur on cessation.
Here are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms reported:
- Rebound insomnia
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feeling like a hangover
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle spasms
- Altered perceptions
- Mood swings
- Crying spells
Discontinuing/Quitting Restoril (Temazepam)
Never abruptly stop taking a drug on which you have become dependent as to do so can be a resounding shock to the body and central nervous system. It is even possible to go into a seizure and potentially die from suddenly stopping Restoril or other benzodiazepines.
Speak to your doctor first so that a workable strategy such as a gentle tapering off can be planned to ensure your safety and comfort. The best way is to plan ahead so that the effects of cognitive impairment do not cloud your ability to navigate through this period correctly.