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Restoril (Temazepam) Addiction | Abuse Potential, Side Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms, & Overdose

Published on November 18, 2020
image of two restoril temazepam pills blue and white side effects of restoril

Insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep, is an all too common problem in the United States, with countless individuals reporting short or long-term sleep issues each year due to stress, poor sleep habits, pain, or other health issues.

While medications exist to help those suffering from insomnia, the use of these medications—including Restoril—can quickly become habit forming, and the medications themselves are a common candidate for abuse.

What is Restoril?

Restoril is the brand name of temazepam, a benzodiazepine medication prescribed as a short-term treatment for insomnia. 

Restoril is a sedative-hypnotic, meaning it provides a calming effect (sedative) to help you fall asleep (hypnotic). 

The medication works by stimulating specific neurotransmitter activity to suppress central nervous system function and force the body and mind to calm down and relax.

Restoril is classified as a schedule IV drug, indicating a low potential for addiction and dependence when used as prescribed. However, Restoril is recommended for short-term use only, with prescriptions ending after seven to ten days

Side Effects Of Restoril

Restoril use is associated with a variety of potential side effects, including:

  • dizziness
  • sedation (drowsiness even outside of normal sleeping hours)
  • forgetfulness
  • muscle weakness
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • nervousness, excitability, and irritability
  • nausea/vomiting
  • dry mouth/thirst
  • pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation

Although less common, some serious side effects may also occur and are cause to seek medical attention:

  • breathing difficulties
  • pounding heartbeats
  • mental confusion
  • hallucinations
  • aggression
  • suicidal thoughts
  • restless muscle movements
  • chills
  • jaundice

Learn more about Restoril Side Effects

Restoril Abuse & Addiction

Restoril abuse is any non-prescriptive use of the medication, including recreational drug use as well as non-recreational use for the purpose of self-medication.

Some individuals who are introduced to the drug through a prescription may seek out the drug after their prescription ends, in order to continue self-treating insomnia or anxiety.

Or, as with alcohol abuse, Restoril may be taken recreationally in higher dosages to induce an intoxicating effect. 

Restoril is also commonly abused in combination with other drugs ranging from marijuana to cocaine, opioids, methamphetamine, and alcohol. 

This polysubstance abuse puts individuals in even greater risk of addiction, substance-induced psychosis, and overdose.  

Signs Of Restoril Addiction

Any long-term or high dosage use of Restoril is likely to eventually result in tolerance, mental and physical dependence, and addiction. 

If you have benzodiazepine addiction, you may experience:

  • Tolerance: The drug becomes less and less effective at providing relaxation, suppressing anxiety, and aiding with sleep; higher doses are required to provide the same effect.
  • Cravings: You may go doctor shopping or search for other sources of the medication because drug cravings dominate your daily life.
  • Dependence: Going off the drug or cutting the dosage causes symptoms of withdrawal, including physical and mental distress, insomnia, and anxiety.

Restoril Withdrawal Symptoms

Doctors have described Restoril withdrawal symptoms as similar to alcohol withdrawal, with the most intense physical symptoms of withdrawal experienced between one to four days after use of the drug is discontinued.

 Physical withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • headaches
  • trembling or convulsions
  • heart Palpitations
  • muscle pain and cramping
  • abdominal pain
  • intense sweating
  • vomiting
  • changes to blood pressure

Psychological or mental symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal are described as a ‘drug rebound’, or intensifying of the symptoms this prescription drug is intended to treat. 

Symptoms can last anywhere from ten to fourteen days as a person’s mental state changes and cravings for the drug reach a high intensity, often leading to relapse.

Psychological symptoms can include:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • depression
  • poor memory recall
  • drowsiness
  • panic attacks
  • prolonged ‘hangover’ sensation
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • psychosis

Restoril Overdose

While it’s possible to take such high doses of Restoril that the body is unable to process it, overdose is relatively rare. 

It’s far more likely for a Restoril overdose to involve a combination of drugs such as alcohol, opioids, antidepressants, or other medications.  

Signs of overdose may include:

  • intoxication (reduced coordination and balance, slurred speech, short-term memory loss)
  • mental health changes (anxiety, aggression, hallucinations, and delirium)
  • losing consciousness
  • vomiting
  • Respiratory depression/slowed or difficult breathing
  • slow heart rate
  • blue-tinted lips or fingernails

If you suspect you or someone around you has overdosed, it’s vital to call for emergency medical care as quickly as possible.

Restoril Addiction Treatment Options

All forms of drug abuse and substance use disorder pose severe challenges to individuals and families. A formal rehab program can help provide a structured and supportive approach for lasting recovery.

Medical Detox

Medical detoxification is a process in which withdrawal is monitored and managed, allowing you to come off the drug in a safe, supervised setting.

Inpatient & Outpatient Treatment

Following detox, other substance abuse treatments and therapies help you better understand your addiction and underlying emotional and mental health issues.

Therapies and other treatment options are available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis:

  • Inpatient treatment programs are offered for those with severe addictions and provide around-the-clock oversight and support.
  • Outpatient programs are available for individuals with milder addictions and access to a strong emotional and physical support system in their daily life.
  • Both rehab options provide treatment plans for Restoril addiction, including individual therapy, group therapy, and more.

To learn more about our drug rehab programs, please contact our treatment specialists today.

Restoril FAQ

What’s The Difference Between Restoril & Ambien?

Restoril and Ambien are both sleep aids but belong to different classes of drugs. Restoril is a benzodiazepine, while Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic. They affect the brain in slightly different ways, but share many similar effects.

Learn more about Restoril Vs. Ambien

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Benzodiazepines and Opioids
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Restoril™ (temazepam) Capsules USPRestoril™ (temazepam) Capsules USP
U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Temazepam
Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine - Prescription Sedative Misuse and Abuse

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