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Restoril Withdrawal Symptoms | Treatment Help

This entry was posted in Benzodiazepine and tagged on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on July 27, 2023 by Diane Ridaeus

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Michael Loes MD

Doctors and detox facilities are apt to miss the mark on Restoril withdrawal as the DEA only informs them that Restoril presents “a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.”6

However, inspecting further we find that Restoril withdrawal (generic temazepam) can present complications far worse than coming off heroin, and needs to be done slowly and gradually.7

Do Your Symptoms
Require Restoril?

restoril withdrawal
Alternative to Meds has been the expert on benzodiazepine withdrawal for over 17 years. We have published evidence regarding our success. In addition to slow and gradual withdrawal techniques, we use naturopathic treatments and strategies to remove neurotoxic accumulations. This ensures long-term relief after completing the withdrawal. A neurotoxic condition contributes to an unbearable super-stimulated condition, especially after benzo use. We observe that cleaning up that toxic burden allows for the natural balance to return and symptoms and lingering adverse effects will diminish more quickly. This will assist with temazepam withdrawal and withdrawal in general from any drug. There are many healing therapies that ease the process. As each person is unique, programming is individualized for our clients’ best outcomes.
Very likely, you already know the horrors of this drug. Trying to live life on Benzos can be a mess. After repeated disasters and mountains of evidence proving that most people cannot endure rapid detox, detox facilities, and insurance companies still seem under-informed about gentle benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Please watch the videos you see here or call us to get hope for your situation.

Restoril belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US.

Currently, there are over 60 benzodiazepines currently on the market. Tolerance can develop quickly, leading to debilitating Restoril withdrawals. Before deciding to withdraw from Restoril or any benzodiazepine we suggest learning as much as possible about what to expect concerning any health issues or risks that may arise.

The information given here may help to learn more about common Restoril adverse effects, safe Restoril withdrawal, and how to support wellness in recovery.

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Restoril Withdrawal Symptoms ( temazepam withdrawal )

Restoril withdrawal symptoms may not occur when the drug is only taken for a night or two. However, the longer the drug is used, the more likely it is that Restoril withdrawal symptoms will occur on cessation.  In this regard, a large review of the literature on benzodiazepine withdrawal published in the American Journal of Alcohol and Drug Abuse compared the profile of symptoms to that of coming off alcohol, or barbiturate drugs in the severity and range of effects.17

Common Restoril withdrawal symptoms:
  • restoril hallucinationsSeizures* 2
  • Rebound insomnia 4
  • Anxiety, tension 11
  • Fatigue, sedation 13
  • Depression, sadness 11
  • Suicide, suicidal thoughts 2,16
  • Morning sleep hangover 14
  • Muscle cramps, spasms 15
  • Psychosis, hallucinations 10
  • Altered perceptions, panic attacks, hand tremors 15
  • Mood disturbances 13
  • Nausea, dry-retching 11,15
  • Sleep disturbances, nightmares 12
  • Cognitive, attentional dysfunction 8
  • Psychomotor dysfunction 8
  • Impaired memory 11
  • Muscle pain and stiffness 15

*Seizures are possible during withdrawal from temazepam according to the FDA, advising collaborating with a doctor before attempting temazepam withdrawal.

Restoril Common Side Effects 

One of the most concerning adverse effects of sleeping medications, including Restoril, is that a person may do things while asleep for which they have no recall.2

restoril sleep drivingThis 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 monitor overnight activity to avoid accidents or injuries to themselves or others.

The sedation that benzodiazepines cause can be profound.  

The drug label itself clearly states the risks that drug-induced sedation causes. Of notable significance, the drug trials done on temazepam lasted either 24 hours or over a period of 2 weeks in total. The FDA-recommended time frame for a prescription was decided at 7-10 days at maximum.18

Safety Tip: Don’t Shortcut the Sleep Window 

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 upon awakening, as the drug will still be active in the system and the person will still be subject to sleepwalking, cognitive impairment, or unusual thoughts and behaviors.

Therefore, one certainly should never drive or operate machinery in such circumstances.

Reactions to Restoril can vary from person to person. The period of time that a person should take the drug is limited to a week or so. In any case, however, a person should be monitored to ensure no health risks occur over the period of time that Restoril is taken.

Other commonly reported adverse effects as noted on the drug insert 2 include:

  • A feeling of euphoria
  • Headache
  • Blurring of vision
  • Vertigo or dizzy feeling
  • Feeling drowsy during normal waking hours
  • Numbness or tingling skin
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling irritable
  • Increased anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach pain or discomfort
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Amnesia
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst

Some severe reactions can occur. Immediate medical intervention can mitigate a life-threatening situation.

More severe adverse reactions to Restoril from drug insert 2 include:

  • 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
  • Akathisia (restlessness that becomes intolerable)
  • Repetitive movements of muscles, tongue, jaw, neck, eyes, etc.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Flu-like symptoms — fever, headache, body aches. general malaise
  • Dark or painful urination
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Allergic reactions include fever, chills, unconsciousness, raised welts, and crusting or weeping sores on the skin, in the mouth, or in other mucous membranes.
  • Signs of Jaundice, yellowing skin, or whites of the eyes.*

*May signal the need for medical attention without delay according to Merck’s Consumer Manual.

Generally, a person who opts for 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 — if you mix Restoril or any benzodiazepine drug and alcohol, opiates, or any other substance which suppresses the CNS, the results 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 Withdrawal FAQs – temazepam withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal

Never abruptly stop taking a benzodiazepine such as Restoril. Abrupt Restoril withdrawal can be a resounding shock to the body and central nervous system and may result in seizures and death. Never suddenly stop Restoril or other benzodiazepines.

Speak to your doctor first so that together, you can plan a workable strategy to ensure your safety and comfort. The best way is to plan well ahead so that the effects of cognitive impairment do not cloud your ability to navigate through this period correctly.

Here are some additional points frequently asked about taking Restoril, Restoril withdrawal, and other topics important to your health and safety concerning taking a prescription drug for sleep issues.

How Does Restoril Work?

Restoril is a benzodiazepine. How this class of drugs works is not completely known. However, the consensus is that the drug acts upon a certain type of neurotransmitter and receptor called GABA. GABA is an inhibitory transmitter. It is a CNS depressant.

When GABA is present, it has the characteristic of slowing down the CNS and calming the various systems in the body, including brain activity, heart rate, breathing rate, etc. Restoril allows more GABA to be active and enhances these effects more than usual.

This is why one should never mix alcohol or opiates or other tranquilizers, as the additive effects can slow the CNS down to a point where a person may stop breathing, the heart may stop beating, and coma or death may result.

What’s the Difference between Restoril and Xanax?

There are similarities and differences between Restoril and Xanax.

  • Both of these drugs are benzodiazepines.
  • Both cause euphoric effects.
  • Both are Schedule IV drugs, meaning they are prone to abuse and dependence.
  • Xanax taken in a .5mg dose is approximately equal to a 15mg dose of Restoril.
  • Xanax is sometimes taken a few times over a day. It is a shorter-acting drug, and the effects wear off more quickly. Xanax is effective at reducing anxiety and tends to do so without also causing severe drowsiness, though it may cause a degree of drowsiness. Restoril is ONLY taken just before bed at your regular bedtime as it has a profound, some say heavy-handed tranquilizing effect.
  • Sudden cessation is dangerous for both drugs.
  • Both drugs should only be taken only for a short duration — While the FDA has published no specific time limits for Xanax beyond “for short-term use,” in the case of Restoril, FDA recommendations limit its use to 7 to 10 days maximum.
  • Both drugs have a history of being used as date-rape drugs, typically mixed into an alcoholic drink, used to knock out the memory and resistance of the unfortunate victim.
  • Xanax and Restoril are both subject to profound sedation, coma, and death if mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol or opioids.

Dosage Differences:

Xanax taken in a 5mg dose is approximately equivalent to a 15mg dose of Restoril.

Purpose of Use:

Xanax is approved for treating anxiety and panic attacks. Restoril is ONLY taken just before bed at your regular bedtime as it has a profound, some say heavy-handed tranquilizing effect.


Xanax has a half-life ranging from 6 to 26 hours, with a mean of 11.2 hours. Restoril’s half-life ranges from 3.5 to 18.4 hours, with a mean of 8.8 hours.5

Can You Overdose on Restoril?

Yes. Restoril is a drug that has a depressive effect on the central nervous system. If too much of the drug is taken, or if it is mixed with other CNS depressants, the overdose could result in a coma or death.2

How Addictive is Restoril?

Benzodiazepines like Restoril are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US, and around the world. Unfortunately, the drug can cause acquired dependence beyond a few weeks.18  Try to arrange careful monitoring to help you navigate through the process when it comes time to stop taking the medication.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can debilitate one, and tolerating the reactions can be nearly impossible without a well-planned cessation strategy. Also, arrange adequate support before starting the process. Coming off Restoril can be eased significantly by doing it in a slow and gradual manner.  and having resources to hand for support.

Abruptly coming off Restoril or any similar drug is not recommended, as the results of a poorly executed cessation can be deadly. Especially concerning would be the possible rebound insomnia effect. Withdrawal effects such as rebound insomnia can linger for months and even years.

Holistic Treatment for Restoril Abuse and Acquired Dependence

When a person reduces benzodiazepines without help, complications can stretch the process out much longer than necessary. Without a proper strategy, Restoril withdrawals can cause excruciating reactions, that may last a long time.5

At Alternative to Meds Center, we work with each individual, taking into account their history and unique needs, designing a program that will end the pain and suffering of the after-effects of drugs such as Restoril. Likely if Restoril was taken, there was a sleep issue. And, just as likely, no investigative work was done to find the correct cause for it before prescribing a sleep aid. As a result, some persons may have been prescribed far longer than the recommended 7 to 10 days.4

Notably, some reports of suffering from insomnia, are correlated to having a toxic heavy metal burden of mercury and it is possible that mercury debilitates the serotonin-melatonin conversion.3

Restoril Withdrawal Treatment at Alternative to Meds Center

getting off restorilAt Alternative to Meds Center, we do the necessary detective work using proper testing methods to find the reasons behind symptoms and program the corrections that need to take place. This can include treatments to normalize neurochemistry, such as the removal of heavy metals or other neurotoxins which may have been interfering with sleep or causing other unwanted symptoms.

Traditionally, insomnia responds well to CBT and other forms of counseling, correction of diet, checking for allergies or exposures to toxins or mycotoxins (molds), learning relaxation techniques, therapeutic massage, acupuncture, and many other avenues that can provide relief.

Many of our clients have suffered for many years and their lingering withdrawals caused significant malaise and terribly debilitating effects, before finding relief at Alternative to Meds Center.5

Our goal is to provide a pathway, in a reasonable time period, back to sustainable natural mental health, and that includes correcting sleep issues without the use of drugs. Please contact us for more information concerning the possible benefits you could experience from our holistic Restoril withdrawal program for full recovery of mental wellness without further reliance on medications.

1. Benzodiazepines (street names: Benzos, Downers, Nerve pills, Tranks) Drug Enforcement Administration publication [cited 2022 Aug 7]

2. FDA Label Restoril (temazepam) Approved 2008 Feb 25 [cited 2022 Aug 7]

3. Sueli RG, Rossini, Reimão R, Lefèvre BH, Medrado-Faria MA “Chronic Insomnia in Workers Poisoned by Inorganic Mercury” Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.58 n.1 São Paulo 2000 Mar [cited 2022 Aug 7]

4. Gillin JC, Spinweber CL, Johnson LC. Rebound insomnia: a critical review. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1989 Jun;9(3):161-72. PMID: 2567741. [cited 2022 Aug 7]

5. Puustinen J, et al., “Long-term persistence of withdrawal of temazepam.” Research article published by BMC Geriatrics 2018 Jun 15 [cited 2022 Aug 7]

6. “Drug Scheduling,” DEA [cited 2022 Aug 7]

7. “Benzodiazepines” DEA [cited 2022 Aug 7]

8. FDA Label Xanax (lorazepam) tablets Approval revised 2018 Sept] [cited 2022 Aug 7]

9. Puustinen J, Lähteenmäki R, Polo-Kantola P, Salo P, Vahlberg T, Lyles A, Neuvonen PJ, Partinen M, Räihä I, Kivelä SL. Effect of withdrawal from long-term use of temazepam, zopiclone or zolpidem as hypnotic agents on cognition in older adults. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Mar;70(3):319-29. doi: 10.1007/s00228-013-1613-6. Epub 2013 Dec 12. PMID: 24337417. [cited 2022 Aug 7]

10. Alexander J, Tibrewal P, Temazepam withdrawal induced psychosis Asian Journal of Psychiatry Vol 4, Issue 3, Sept 2011 [cited 2022 Aug 7]

11. Lader M, Frcka G. Subjective effects during administration and on discontinuation of zopiclone and temazepam in normal subjects. Pharmacopsychiatry. 1987 Mar;20(2):67-71. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1017078. PMID: 2884682. [cited 2022 Aug 7]

12. Fleming JA, McClure DJ, Mayes C, Phillips R, Bourgouin J. A comparison of the efficacy, safety and withdrawal effects of zopiclone and triazolam in the treatment of insomnia. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 1990 Apr;5 Suppl 2:29-37. PMID: 2201728. [cited 2022 Aug 7]

13. Kales A, Bixler EO, Soldatos CR, Vela-Bueno A, Jacoby JA, Kales JD. Quazepam and temazepam: effects of short- and intermediate-term use and withdrawal. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1986 Mar;39(3):345-52. doi: 10.1038/clpt.1986.51. PMID: 2868823 [cited 2022 Aug 7]

14. Kales A, Kales JD. Sleep laboratory studies of hypnotic drugs: efficacy and withdrawal effects. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1983 Apr;3(2):140-50. doi: 10.1097/00004714-198304000-00038. PMID: 6132933. [cited 2022 Aug 7]

15. Pétursson H. The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Addiction. 1994 Nov;89(11):1455-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1994.tb03743.x. PMID: 7841856. [cited 2022 Aug 7]

16. Dodds TJ. Prescribed Benzodiazepines and Suicide Risk: A Review of the Literature. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2017 Mar 2;19(2). doi: 10.4088/PCC.16r02037. PMID: 28257172. [cited 2022 Aug 7]

17. MacKinnon GL, Parker WA. Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome: a literature review and evaluation. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1982;9(1):19-33. doi: 10.3109/00952998209002608. PMID: 6133446. [cited 2023 Jan 23]

18.  FDA Warning Restoril (temazepam) Capsules USP Revised and Issued Jan 2023 [cited 2023 July 27]

Originally Published Sep 13, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Michael Loes, M.D.


Dr. Michael Loes is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978. Dr. Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally, he is a well-published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response, and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.

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