Updated on February 6, 2024
6 min read

Identifying Temazepam (Restoril) Addiction

Key Takeaways

Temazepam (Restoril) is a prescription medication that treats short-term insomnia. It’s a benzodiazepine that doctors often prescribe due to its calming effects on the central nervous system.

Temazepam enhances gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity, which slows down brain activity and prevents overexcitation. It causes drowsiness and calming effects, which can help you fall asleep.

Unfortunately, some users get addicted to temazepam, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. This can lead to addiction, which requires medical attention.

What are Temazepam Addiction Symptoms?

Temazepam addiction can manifest through various symptoms, including:

  • Tolerance and physical dependence
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Difficulty quitting or controlling use
  • Continued use despite negative consequences
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Isolation from friends and family

Is Temazepam A Controlled Drug?

Temazepam is a Schedule IV controlled substance with a risk of abuse and addiction. Because of this, healthcare providers who prescribe temazepam must have a special Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license.

The addiction risk for temazepam is lower compared to Schedule III drugs like ketamine and anabolic steroids. However, the risk increases when you mix temazepam with other opioid medication.

Can You Overdose on Temazepam?

Yes, too much temazepam can lead to harmful drug levels in the body. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Reduced or no reflexes
  • Respiratory depression
  • Hypotension
  • Loss of consciousness

Call your healthcare provider or the local poison control center immediately if you or a loved one exhibits these signs.


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What Are Restoril Withdrawal Symptoms?

Abruptly stopping temazepam use causes uncomfortable and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Restoril withdrawal signs include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depressed mood
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Stomach and muscle cramps
  • Seizures

Never stop taking medication abruptly without consulting your doctor first. Your doctor will provide the safest way to stop taking medication.

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What Are The Treatment Options for Temazepam Addiction?

If you’ve developed dependence or Restoril addiction, here are substance abuse treatment options:

Guidance for Caregivers and Family Members

Here are some ways to provide support and help those struggling with Restoril abuse overcome their addiction:

  • Educate yourself about the drug: Research and learn more about Restoril addiction, its signs, symptoms, and effects on the body. The more knowledge you have, the better you understand your loved one’s struggles.
  • Encourage them to seek treatment: Offer your support and encouragement to seek professional help. Let them know you’re always by their side, and you can accompany them to appointments or even help them find a treatment facility.
  • Be patient and understanding: Recovery from addiction is a long process, and there will be setbacks along the way. It’s essential to be patient and understanding with your loved one as they work towards sobriety.
  • Avoid enabling behaviors: It can be tempting to try and protect your loved one from the consequences of their addiction, but this can actually hinder their recovery. Avoid giving them money or making excuses for their behavior.
  • Take care of yourself: Supporting a loved one through addiction can be emotionally and physically draining. Take care of your well-being, and seek support from others if necessary.

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How Can You Prevent Restoril Addiction?

To help prevent Restoril addiction, it’s essential to follow these steps:

  • Only take Restoril as prescribed: Don’t take more than the necessary dose or for a longer period than your doctor prescribed.
  • Avoid sharing prescriptions: Never share your prescription with someone else or use someone else’s medication. This can lead to dependency and other health risks.
  • Keep track of your medication: Keep your medications in a safe and secure place, and monitor how many you have left. This can help prevent accidental overdose or misuse.

Resources for Help and Support

If you or someone you know is struggling with Restoril addiction, there are resources available to help. Consider reaching out to:

  • National Helpline: 1-800-237-TALK (8255)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) treatment locator
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

What Drugs Can Interact With Temazepam?

To avoid adverse outcomes, don’t take these substances with temazepam:

  • Opioids (like hydrocodone and codeine)
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Other benzodiazepines (like lorazepam and alprazolam)
  • Other sleep or anti-anxiety drugs (like zolpidem)
  • Muscle relaxants (like carisoprodol and cyclobenzaprine)
  • Antihistamines
  • Allergy, cough, and cold medications
  • Central nervous system depressant (like sodium oxybate)

In 2021, benzodiazepine-related deaths reached 12,499.1 Benzodiazepine overdose visits per 100,000 emergency department visits rose by 23.7% from 2019 to 2020. 34.4% involved opioids and 21.0% didn’t.2

What Are Temazepam Alternatives?

If you’re reconsidering taking temazepam due to concerns about Restoril abuse, you may opt for the following alternatives:

Other Benzodiazepines

Loprazolam or lormetazepam is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. Consult your doctor about this drug to know its benefits and risks.

Non-Benzodiazepine Medications

Other non-benzodiazepine drugs to treat insomnia include:

  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • Ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Zaleplon (Sonata)
  • Zolpidem (Ambien)

In one study, 10 mg of zolpidem (Ambien) provided greater sleep-inducing performance than 15 mg of temazepam.3 However, it may lead to next-day sluggishness and abnormal behaviors like sleep-driving.3

In higher doses, the drugs above have less potential for drug tolerance than temazepam. They also don’t have anticonvulsant or sedative properties.


Trazodone is an antidepressant that induces sleep. Unlike temazepam, it isn’t a controlled substance. However, it can still cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue use abruptly.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Alternatives

These OTC sleep aids can help once you address the underlying causes of insomnia:

  • Antihistamines: Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine (Unisom) are accessible OTC sleep aids. However, older adults should use these medicines with caution.
  • Valerian Root: This herb contains valepotriates and valeric acid. These compounds bind to the same receptors as benzodiazepines and trigger GABA release.
  • Chamomile: Apigenin, the active component of chamomile, binds to the same receptors as benzodiazepines. Use chamomile with caution to avoid cross-allergy to ragweed.
  • Melatonin: The pineal gland releases this hormone at night. It helps improve sleep quality and freshness the following day.


Temazepam (Restoril) is a benzodiazepine for insomnia. However, it has a high potential for abuse and dependence.

Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication. Avoid using it with other drugs and alcohol.

If you or a loved one struggles with Temazepam addiction, seek professional help and support to overcome it. Also, consider alternative medications or insomnia treatments that are less habit-forming to avoid potential addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

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Updated on February 6, 2024
14 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024
  1. Restoril™ (temazepam) Capsules USP.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2016.
  2.  Ogbru, A. “BENZODIAZEPINES DRUG CLASS.” RxList, 2022.
  3. U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “Controlled Substance Schedules.” Diversion Control Division.
  4. FDA requiring Boxed Warning updated to improve safe use of benzodiazepine drug class.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2020.
  5. Hepsomali et al. “Effects of Oral Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Administration on Stress and Sleep in Humans: A Systematic Review.” Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2020.
  6. University of Michigan. “Temazepam.” University of Michigan Health.
  7. Temazepam.” U.K. National Health Service, 2019.
  8. U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Temazepam.” MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine, 2021.
  9. Temazepam.” Drugs.com, 2021.
  10. U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Sodium oxybate.” MedlinePlus, 2023.
  11. Sleeping pills and minor tranquillisers.” Mind, 2021.
  13. Restoril Alternatives Compared.” Drugs.com, 2023.
  14. Hulisz et al. “Assisting Seniors With Insomnia: A Comprehensive Approach.” U.S. Pharmacist, 2009.

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