What Does Temazepam Do to the Brain?

Temazepam is a member of the benzodiazepine drug class. Benzodiazepines are sedative-type drugs that are effective in reducing anxiety because of their effect on the brain. Temazepam is being used to treat extreme cases of insomnia but it does have some dangers.

For this reason, temazepam treatment and the use of other benzodiazepines are considered short-term solutions. If you feel your use of temazepam is habit forming, tell your doctor immediately.

What is Temazepam?

Temazepam is sold in two forms. A doctor may prescribe tablets or temazepam capsules. The capsules come in different strengths, starting at 7.5 mg and going to a maximum of 30 mg. A doctor would prescribe 30 mg in rare cases of extreme and prolonged insomnia.

Taking temazepam for a long period can result in drug tolerance, especially if you are taking a high dose such as 30 mg. If you have built up a tolerance to temazepam, you should tell your doctor. It is not advisable to start taking higher doses without consultation. This kind of behaviour can result in physical dependence on the drug.

Temazepam is taken through oral administration. Studies show that temazepam is rapidly absorbed, meaning the effects are felt quite quickly. Scientists have observed significant blood levels achieved just thirty minutes after a subject takes temazepam.

Chemical and Pharmacologic Aspects of Temazepam

Temazepam is available under multiple different brand names. It is commonly known as Restoril. Restoril targets the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. These receptors naturally produce a calming effect, so taking temazepam increases their neurotransmitters. This leads to increased gamma-aminobutyric acid – a calming chemical – in the body. Temazepam works by bounding to the plasma proteins in the blood.

Furthermore, temazepam and other drugs of the benzodiazepine class work as central nervous system depressants. The central nervous system, or CNS, depression is when the nervous system is slowed down. This means a person will have a slower heartbeat and relaxed muscles.

what does temazepam do to the brain


A person using temazepam should not drive or operate machinery. It is possible to take temazepam in a higher dose than the body can handle. This is called an overdose. While it is rare to die from a benzodiazepine overdose, the symptoms can be frightening. Some symptoms of a temazepam overdose include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired mental alertness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Respiratory depression
  • Severe dizziness

What Temazepam is Used For?

Temazepam is available via your healthcare provider. Pharmacists will only provide these types of drugs with a doctor’s prescription. Temazepam is prescribed for those suffering from anxiety and insomnia. It is most commonly used to treat insomnia and has fewer anti-seizure effects than other benzodiazepines like diazepam.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder. It is characterised by difficulty falling asleep and it can range from mild to severe. If a person is unable to fall asleep over a long period, it can impact the brain and normal functioning.

Sleep laboratory studies have found that using temazepam can help those struggling with insomnia fall asleep faster. This is referred to as improved sleep latency. Due to its relaxing effects, using this drug can also improve sleep quality and help a person sleep for longer.

Temazepam is also used as a pre-anaesthetic medication for minor surgery. The medication is used in this way to induce sleepiness and reduce anxiety before a procedure.

Research investigating benzodiazepines as a treatment for depression has wielded surprising results. Studies found that benzodiazepine use has been shown to improve symptoms of mild to moderate depression, but not in cases of severe depression. Endogenous depression is a type of major depressive disorder (MDD) that is characterised by periods of depression lasting longer than two weeks. It is more commonly known as clinical depression. Benzodiazepines are not recommended as a treatment for these kinds of severe depression, and due to their addictive potential.

Temazepam is also used to treat anxiety, although due to fears of substance abuse, this is less common. A person should only start taking medication like temazepam for anxiety when all other treatments have not worked. Many herbal products such as chamomile are effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

In therapeutic doses, this medication can be an effective treatment for anxiety. It should allow someone with a mental illness like panic disorder to regain some quality of life. In the case of severe panic attacks, a person may be prescribed high doses such as the 30 mg temazepam capsule.

The Dangers of Using Temazepam

Temazepam is a controlled substance. This means that this drug is not available to purchase over the counter and a person requires a prescription from a doctor or pharmacist. This drug is a prescription medication because it can be dangerous if used incorrectly.

Temazepam, like other benzodiazepines, should only be used for a short time. Benzodiazepines have a sedative effect. They provide rewarding effects to the user, such as; a feeling of overall well-being, a feeling of calm, and improved sleep.

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to elderly patients as a treatment for insomnia. However, studies have found a possible link between an increased rate of Alzheimer’s disease and increased use of benzodiazepines. As short-term memory loss can be a side effect of these substances, it is recommended that older patients take lower doses.

Taking temazepam as an insomnia treatment can sometimes have paradoxical reactions. This means that it can cause the opposite of the expected effect to happen. A person who is struggling with insomnia could develop what is known as rebound insomnia.

If a person takes more of this drug than they require, they may have difficulty waking up. It is important to tell your doctor if this is the case so they can reduce the treatment dose. Furthermore, if you take temazepam for the first time and experience an allergic reaction, tell your doctor immediately. Allergic reactions are a medical emergency.

A doctor or pharmacist may not prescribe temazepam to a person unless they have tried other treatments first. Benzodiazepines should be considered a last resort. Concerns about alcohol use, drug addiction, and other health issues prevent these drugs from being widely available legally.

Temazepam and Alcohol

It is extremely dangerous to drink alcohol when taking benzodiazepines. Alcohol speeds up the heart rate, while drugs like temazepam slow the heart rate down. Drinking alcohol while taking temazepam can increase the likelihood of getting alcohol poisoning.

Other adverse effects of mixing the two substances are confusion and risk-taking behaviour. When combining the two, it is possible to wake up with no recollection of the events that happened while under the influence of these substances.

Purposefully mixing substances that have adverse drug interactions is a form of substance abuse. It is important to inform your healthcare provider of any medication you are on before you receive a prescription for this drug as certain medications interact negatively with temazepam. Your doctor will be able to adjust treatment to prevent any adverse side effects of the medication.

Temazepam Addiction

If you take temazepam for a long time you could develop a tolerance to the drug. A sign that you could be developing a tolerance is needing more of the substance to obtain the same effect. For example, you may be taking 20 mg per night to sleep, but now you require 30 mg.

Developing a tolerance can cause a person to engage in drug abuse. This means they could start ingesting increased amounts of the drug for longer than recommended. A person abusing temazepam may opt to snort the drug as they will experience the therapeutic effects faster. Snorting drugs is dangerous as it can cause respiratory depression. This is a disorder that affects breathing and can cause life-threatening breathing problems.

Over time, abusing a drug will result in physical and/or mental dependency. This means the body has become accustomed to the drug being in the system and can’t function properly without it. If a person has reached this stage of addiction, they may be tempted to purchase street drugs. Illegally obtained benzodiazepines may not be pure, so it is important to take extreme caution.

If a person has developed a dependency on temazepam, sudden cessation of the drug will result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Shakes
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea

Due to its addictive nature, temazepam is considered a Schedule IV Controlled Substance in the United States. Abuse of benzodiazepines and other medications can cause kidney or liver disease in the long term. If a person is dependent on a substance, they may require treatment to help with withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is an effective treatment method. A detox can help a person during this overwhelming period and prevent relapse. For advice or treatment, contactAddcounsel today. 


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