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The eMC  

Last Updated 22 Oct 2013

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Temazepam 20mg tablets

Temazepam (Tem-az-ep-am) is a medicine which is used in difficulty sleeping and premedication for minor procedures.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Temazepam varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

There are 3 preparations of Temazepam available. If Temazepam 20mg tablets is not the preparation you are looking for, please select from the drop down list below.

Select your preparation (type) of Temazepam

Temazepam 20mg tablets

Information specific to Temazepam 20mg tablets when used in difficulty sleeping

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Your medicine

Temazepam is a medicine which is used to treat sleeping problems.

Temazepam should only be used for the shortest possible period of time as it can cause dependence, tolerance and in some cases, people can experience withdrawal symptoms.

Some people, in the course of taking Temazepam for a sleeping problem, may find that an undiagnosed psychiatric condition, such as depression, becomes apparent. People who have a psychiatric condition and who are taking Temazepam may experience some changes in behaviour.

It is essential to get at least seven or eight hours continuous and uninterrupted sleep after taking Temazepam. If you are woken before this time has passed, Temazepam may cause you to have some memory problems.

If you are given Temazepam before having surgery or an investigation it is important to have someone take you home.

Other information about Temazepam:

  • this medicine should only be used for four weeks at most
  • your prescriber will try to find the lowest dose of your medicine which can control your condition

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should take. It also tells you how often you should take your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should take. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

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When to take your medicine

Some medicines work best if they are taken at a specific time of day. Getting the most benefit from your medicine can also be affected by what you eat, when you eat and the times at which you take other medicines.

Specific information on when to take Temazepam can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about when to take your medicine.

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How to take your medicine

Some medicines have specific instructions about how to take them. This is because they work better when taken correctly. These instructions can include getting the right dose and special instructions for preparing the medicine.

Specific information on how to take Temazepam can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. Alternatively, you can request information about how to take your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.

If you are having problems taking this form of Temazepam, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice on other ways to take your medicine or other preparations that are easier for you to take.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. If you take extra doses of your medicine, you must get medical advice immediately. You may need a test to assess the effect of taking extra doses. This is because the effects of taking too much medicine are very complex so it is very important that you seek medical advice.

Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111 for advice.

Make sure you take all of your medicine containers with you if you are advised to go to hospital.

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Stopping your medicine

If you are not having any problems taking this medicine then do not stop taking it, even if you feel better, unless advised to do so by your prescriber. If, however, you find that this medicine is causing you problems then you should talk to your prescriber about your concerns.

If your medical team decides that it is best that you do not take this medicine any more, they may advise that you do not stop Temazepam abruptly. This is because, in some instances, stopping Temazepam abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms or cause your original condition to return. In these instances, reducing the dose of Temazepam gradually over time may reduce the chances of having these problems.

If you are in any doubt, contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111.

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Looking after your medicine

The instructions on how you should keep your medicine are on the pharmacy label. It is a good idea to keep your medicine in the original container. This will help to keep your medicine in the best condition and also allow you to check the instructions. Do not take the medicine if the packaging appears to have been tampered with or if the medicine shows any signs of damage. Make sure that the medicine is out of the sight and reach of children.

Specific information on how to look after Temazepam can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. Alternatively, you can request information about how to look after your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.

You must not take the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Temazepam is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for a child.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects
  • to determine whether or not the medicine is suitable and whether it must be prescribed with extra care

Over time it is possible that Temazepam can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Temazepam has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.

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Side-effects

A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown:

  • abnormal laboratory test results
  • anaphylactic reactions - these may be fatal
  • angioedema
  • balance or coordination problems
  • blood problems
  • blurred vision
  • changes in libido
  • concentration problems
  • dependence
  • double vision
  • dry mouth
  • eye or eyesight problems - seek medical advice if you develop eyesight problems
  • failure of Temazepam to achieve the intended medical effect - this may occur if Temazepam is given repeatedly
  • feeling dizzy
  • feeling drowsy
  • feeling emotionally numb
  • feeling light-headed
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • headaches
  • incontinence
  • jaundice - seek medical advice if you have jaundice
  • lowered blood pressure
  • memory problems
  • muscle problems
  • muscle weakness
  • palpitations
  • precipitation of brain or central nervous system problems in people with liver problems
  • precipitation of suicide in people with depression
  • psychiatric reactions - seek medical advice if you: develop psychosis or psychotic-like behaviour; are aggressive, feel confused, irritable, agitated, restless, excited or enraged; have delusions, nightmares or hallucinations; or have other changes in your behaviour
  • reduced alertness
  • salivation changes
  • sedation
  • skin problems
  • sleep problems including performing activity while asleep such as driving without remembering this activity occurred. You or your carer must seek immediate medical advice if you perform any activity while asleep
  • speech problems
  • tiredness
  • tremors
  • uncovering depression
  • urinary retention - seek medical advice if you develop urinary retention
  • vertigo
  • vivid dreams
  • withdrawal symptoms can occur when this medicine is stopped abruptly. These include headaches, muscle pain, diarrhoea, mood changes, feeling anxious, tension, confusion, feeling restless, feeling irritable, feelings of unreality or of being separated from the body, depersonalization, numbness, tingling of the extremities, epileptic seizures, hypersensitivity to external stimuli such as light, noise and physical contact, rebound phenomena or sleeping problems

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call 111.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Temazepam:

The following types of medicine may interact with Temazepam:

If you are taking Temazepam and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Temazepam.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

In the case of Temazepam:

  • this medicine could affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. After taking Temazepam you should wait for at least seven or eight hours before driving or operating machinery

You should see how this medicine affects you before you judge whether you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt about whether you should drive or operate machinery, talk to your prescriber.

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Diet

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Temazepam:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when taking Temazepam
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Alcohol

Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Temazepam:

  • alcohol increases the sedative effects of Temazepam

You must not drink any alcohol if you are taking this medicine.

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Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Temazepam:

  • you should only take this medicine during pregnancy if your doctor thinks that you need it
  • if you become pregnant, or think you have become pregnant while taking Temazepam, you must contact your prescriber
  • if you take this medicine during your pregnancy, your baby may have some problems after birth. Also, if you repeatedly take this medicine during the late stages of pregnancy, your baby may come to be physically dependent on Temazepam. This may lead to your baby having withdrawal symptoms from Temazepam after birth

You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to weigh up the overall risks and benefits of taking this medicine. You and your doctor can make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy.

If the decision is that you should not have Temazepam, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.

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Breast-feeding

Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Temazepam:

  • women who are breast-feeding should not take this medicine

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's taste and appearance and to make it easier to take. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

This medicine contains temazepam.

We are unable to list all of the ingredients for your medicine here. For a full list, you should refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with this medicine. You should check that you are able to take the ingredients of your medicine, especially if you have any allergies. You should also check whether any of these ingredients are known to have side-effects.

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Temazepam before, do not take Temazepam. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Temazepam, Version 8, last updated 22 Oct 2013