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Temazepam is a benzodiazepine used for the short-term treatment of insomnia- a sleep disorder. Even though Temazepam is highly effective in treating insomnia and improves the sleep schedule of individuals who use Temazepam as prescribed by the doctor but being a psychoactive drug it has certain risk factors associated with its inappropriate use such as the development of dependence and addiction. 

Temazepam is known as Restoril which is the brand name of the drug and it is classified as a Schedule-IV drug in the United States which means that the sales of Temazepam are monitored and it is available through a legitimate prescription and one cannot get hold of Temazepam over-the-counter due to risk of abuse that can lead to addiction and life-threatening overdose. 

Temazepam starts its action within 30 minutes of its administration and it takes 45 minutes to an hour to achieve peak plasma concentration. The effect of Temazepam lasts for 7 to 8 hours therefore it is advised to take the drug right before going to bed and only when you can take a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep because of inability to take a night of proper sleep and working under the influence of Temazepam can cause amnesia of the performed task. 

For instance, a person under the effect of Temazepam might not remember cooking, or doing chores as Temazepam depresses the central nervous system and causes impairment of memory and loss of coordination as long as the effect of the drug lasts. Hence driving and operating heavy machinery is contraindicated after following Temazepam use. 

Yes, one can overdose on Temazepam as this drug has a high potential for overdose when used inappropriately. Temazepam abuse imposes the risk of dependence, addiction, and overdose. Since Temazepam (Restoril) is a central nervous system depressant it slows and depresses the activity of the central nervous system by acting on the GABA receptors thus interfering with the action of GABA- inhibitory neurotransmitter which blocks the conduction of nerve impulses and reduces neuronal excitability. This brings about the sedative and relaxing effect attributed to Temazepam which is the reason it is classified as a hypnotic medicine and is used for the treatment of insomnia. 

When Restoril is used as prescribed by the doctor it poses no threat to the physical or mental health of an individual and is safe to use. However, once individuals start using the drug in increased doses or for a duration longer than prescribed, they are at risk of developing an overdose. Moreover, individuals who use Restoril for recreational purposes to achieve a high associated with its use are at a greater risk to develop the life-threatening complication of Restoril overdose. 

Temazepam overdose is likely higher when this drug is used concomitantly with other central nervous system depressants such as other benzodiazepines, alcohol, and opioids to enhance the euphoric effect of Temazepam. This combination synergizes the depressive effect of the different CNS depressants and results in detrimental consequences since the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system is all negatively influenced after such a combination takes place and causes breathing problems, oversedation, coma, and even death. According to the National Institute on Drug Health, every 1 in 3 opioid overdose cases involves benzodiazepine which reflects the surge in the combined use of Temazepam a benzodiazepine with an opioid. 

Some individuals also frequently use stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine to stimulate their central nervous system along with a depressant such as Temazepam so that both the drugs can counter the unpleasant effects of one another since they work through opposite mechanisms. However, such a combination proves to be deadly and not beneficial as the individuals presume because the body masks the intoxicating effects of both these drugs, and the individual keeps on taking increased doses of Temazepam which inevitably results in an overdose.   

Temazepam overdose is a medical emergency and prompt medical care should be provided to the individual affected. This condition should not be overlooked and ignored since most signs of Temazepam overdose resemble alcohol intoxication even though alcohol overdose can be life-threatening as well. 

Symptoms of Temazepam overdose manifest within 4 hours of the ingestion of the drug. It is vital to know about the symptoms of Temazepam overdose. Some of the signs associated with Temazepam overdose include physical as well as psychological symptoms. These include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Poor reflexes
  • Hypotension- Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Panic Attacks
  • Extreme sleepiness

When an overdose involves increased doses of Restoril only, the symptoms of the overdose are those of central nervous system depression presenting as impaired balance and coordination, impaired short-term memory, and slurring of speech. Some individuals experiencing Temazepam overdose might face extreme anxiety, depression, agitation, hallucination, delirium, and fluctuation in their mood. 

Individuals may experience hypothermia, bradycardia, hypotension, cardiac arrest, and coma in case of severe Restoril overdose since high levels of Restoril significantly depresses the central nervous system and can cause death. However, when Restoril overdose is a result of the concomitant use of Restoril and other central nervous system depressants such as opioid analgesics then the results are very deadly. Findings in such a case of Restoril overdose include slowed heart rate and labored breathing, loss of consciousness, vomiting, bluish discoloration of fingernails and lips. 

It is necessary to seek emergency medical help if you are suspecting Temazepam overdose. The doctor is likely to prescribe ‘flumazenil’ which is an antidote to benzodiazepine overdose and it works by reversing the symptoms of Temazepam overdose and removing the drug out of the individual’s system.

he recommended dose of Temazepam is 7.5mg for mild insomnia. It is also available in doses of 15mg and 30 mg. An overdose of Temazepam can be fatal when taken in increased doses or mixed with other central nervous system depressants such as opioid analgesics, or alcohol. However, the fatal dose of Temazepam is not known as it varies significantly. From data fetched by working on animal models, the lethal dose of Temazepam has been known to be more than 1963mg per kg in mice, more than 1833mg per kg in rats, and more than 2400 mg per kg in rabbits.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and a commonly abused drug. Temazepam (Restoril) is a prescription drug used to treat insomnia and is also a central nervous system depressant. Often people mix the two substances to achieve increased sedation and euphoria for recreational purposes. Some may do so unintentionally when they take a sleeping pill and take a drink over it, oblivious to the potential of abuse and the serious side effects that may ensue.

 Since both Temazepam and Alcohol act by depressing the central nervous system it is not wise to mix the two due to increased chances of a fatal overdose. Both substances act on the GABA neurotransmitter which is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and is known to produce a calming and sedative effect by slowing down the activity of the central nervous system.

When Restoril and Alcohol are used together the amount of the drug required to cause an overdose for both the substance decreases such that an overdose can occur at a lower dose and often result in deleterious consequences. In a seven-year study conducted by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), 27,000 emergency room visits were attributed to using alcohol and benzodiazepines together. It was also revealed that when an overdose involved alcohol and benzodiazepine as in the case of mixing Temazepam and Alcohol, 38% of cases had unfavorable outcomes.  

Hence, it is advised to not mix Temazepam and alcohol since they both act on the GABA receptors in the brain, depressing the central nervous system, and a combined effect of the two leads to heightened impairment of the CNS along with depression of the respiratory centers. 

There are great dangers associated with the concomitant use of Temazepam and Alcohol. Most of the side effects that result after mixing the two substances are due to central nervous system impairment. Individuals who use both substances together will have hampered memory, poor decision-making ability, impaired judgment, and loss of coordination.  

Individuals who mix alcohol and Temazepam are at the greatest risk of abusing these drugs a condition referred to as ‘polydrug abuse. Consequently, they become subjected to the unpleasant side effects that result after mixing Temazepam and Alcohol.

It has been observed that mixing Restoril and Alcohol can cause a blackout and extreme amnesia (loss of memory) such that an individual will not remember the actions performed under the influence of the central nervous system depressant effect of both Temazepam and alcohol. Individuals often cook, drive, call someone and they have no memory of these events which makes it unsafe since they can get involved in criminal activities and can harm themselves and others around them. 

Moreover, drinking Alcohol and Restoril can increase drowsiness, and can lead to extreme sedation, and lightheadedness. Using alcohol and Temazepam increases the risk of falls and injuries, and the risk is maximum while operating heavy machinery or driving. In addition, alcohol, and Temazepam cause nausea and vomiting. This combination is also known to worsen depression in individuals with preexisting mental health issues. 

Temazepam is a powerful benzodiazepine that is habit-forming hence it is prescribed for the short-term treatment of insomnia with the prescribed duration, not more than 7 to 10 days and the Temazepam pill is to be taken every alternate day. However, in the geriatric population, Temazepam can be prescribed for 8 weeks in low doses.  

Sine Temazepam is a sedative or a hypnotic medicine, it works by improving the chemical imbalance in the brain that causes insomnia. It helps individuals with getting sleep faster and for longer hours with a night of uninterrupted sleep. Temazepam does so by depressing the central nervous system by stimulating the action of GABA neurotransmitter which is the prime inhibitory neurotransmitter known for calming the brain thus causing sedation and reduced anxiety. 

This sedative effect accompanied by mild euphoria that is associated with Temazepam use often makes the individual continue taking the drug longer than the prescribed period. While some may increase their drug doses from what was prescribed to them and others might simply use Temazepam out of pleasure to seek a high, and the development of dependence is very likely owing to the high addiction potential attributed to Temazepam. Regardless of the cause, the body soon develops tolerance to Temazepam in very less time even in individuals who take the prescribed doses of the drug. 

Once tolerance develops individuals increase their doses to achieve the original effect and this leads to physical dependence since the body becomes incapable of performing the normal routine task without the drug administration with the presentation of unpleasant hangover symptoms that are referred to as withdrawal symptoms of the drug. 

Temazepam Addiction Treatment and Therapies

Temazepam withdrawal is a hallmark of dependence and it proves that physical dependence on the drug has developed and ultimately leads to abuse and addiction of the drug. During this phase when individuals try to discontinue Temazepam they experience such severe withdrawals symptoms that they revert to using the drug. 

The reason for Temazepam withdrawal is the fact that the release of GABA becomes dependent on the stimulation by Temazepam and when the drug supply is disrupted, GABA levels drop making a person experience anxiety, rebound insomnia, and a plethora of other withdrawal symptoms that are to be discussed ahead. 

As the brain tries to adapt to work without the stimulus, Temazepam, in this case, certain unpleasant symptoms manifest much to the dislike of the individual who is trapped in the cycle of abuse even when he wants to quit. Temazepam withdrawal symptoms last for 6 weeks, however, the presentation of withdrawal episodes varies in each individual. 

The withdrawal timeline for Temazepam depends on how the drug was discontinued. When Temazepam is tapered off gradually, the withdrawal symptoms are minimum. Whereas if someone goes cold turkey and abruptly stops Temazepam use then the following withdrawal timeline is likely to take place:

  • Between 6 and 24 hours after the last dose: Individuals experience the initial physical symptoms 6 to 24 hours after the last dose of Temazepam.
  • Between Day 1 and 4: During and after day 1 till day 4, physical and psychological symptoms manifest such as anxiety, nausea, and vomiting that seem to worsen as the days progress.
  • Between Day 5 to 14: The withdrawal symptoms tend to be at their peak during this time before they start fading.
  • Between Week 3 to 4: By this time the symptoms have mostly disappeared and only a few symptoms persist. However, in certain individuals, withdrawal symptoms may last longer. 

Temazepam withdrawal symptoms are similar to benzodiazepine withdrawal. These withdrawal episodes are very painful for the individual physically as well as psychologically and it becomes very difficult to continue normal routine tasks without taking the drug. 

The symptoms of Temazepam withdrawal include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping problems
  • Convulsion
  • Trembling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Panic attacks
  • Palpitations
  • Psychosis
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Crying spells
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Extreme fatigue 
  • Rebound Insomnia

When an individual experiences these withdrawal symptoms, the most effective treatment is to get enrolled in a detox program that clears the body of the drug and helps the individual to recover physically and psychologically with the assistance of a rehab facility. Although the road to recovery is difficult it is very much possible to recover and heal and reward yourself a new life, devoid of addiction because you deserve it. 

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