Belonging to the group of intermediate acting benzodiazepines, Temazepam is one of the most common benzo drugs being prescribed nowadays all over the globe. It is used mostly for the treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia. It is commonly available in the market under the brand names of Restoril, Normison and Nortem. Due to its addictive nature, the production and distribution of temazepam is controlled by international authorities who have classified it as a schedule IV substance.
Origin of Temazepam
Temazepam was first discovered in 1964. Although it’s exact origins are unknown as to who first synthesized and manufactured the drug but it is known that temazepam is an active metabolite of diazepam which is another benzodiazepine drug. Currently Novartis is the biggest manufacturer of this drug. They produce temazepam under the name of Restoril.
Mechanism of Action:
Temazepam belongs to the group of benzodiazepines. Benzo drugs act in the brain by acting on GABA receptors. This results the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) in the brain. GABA helps by soothing down the nerve activity thus promoting suppression of central nervous system.
The main use of temazepam is for the treatment of insomnia. It helps by reducing the time taken by an individual to fall asleep and can also help curb night-time awakenings. Additionally it can also be used to cure anxiety in some patients. Sometime skeletal muscle disorders are also treated using temazepam. It is also used by the Air force of United States to provide adequate rest to the personnel with upcoming missions and assignments.
As far as depressing the activity of central nervous system is concerned, Temazepam is a moderately potent benzodiazepine drug used by the patients. If compared with alprazolam which is another one of benzodiazepine group, 20 mg of temazepam is equivalent to 0.5 mg of alprazolam.
Top Pharmaceutical Manufacturers:
Temazepam is manufactured by countless pharmacies around the world but few of the biggest suppliers include Novartis, Sandoz Ltd, Pfizer and IVAX.
Side effects and Abuse:
Without a doubt temazepam is one of the most abused benzo drugs and it is used for recreational purposes as well. Due to these reasons it is a controlled substance and is schedule IV drug in USA and a Class C drug in United Kingdom.
Common side effects of this drug include:
- Amnesia or forgetfulness
- Muscular weakness
- Loss of Proprioception
- Impaired balance and body coordination
- Blurred vision
Over dosage of this drug can result in:
- Mental confusion
- Respiratory depression
- Impaired motor functions
- Impaired or absent reflexes
- Impaired coordination
- Impaired balance
- Dizziness, Sedation
Temazepam cannot be prescribed to pregnant women as it can be harmful for the fetus. Additionally it must also be prescribed very carefully as tolerance for this drug can build up causing physical dependence. This is why long term usage of this drug is discouraged. It should also be provided carefully to people with severe depression and suicidal tendencies and they should be monitored closely.