Restoril – What is it? How is it Abused? What are the Treatments?

Last Updated: July 6, 2021

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

What is Restoril?

Restoril is a popular brand name for temazepam, produced by the Mallinckrodt Pharmaceutical Group. It belongs to the family of benzodiazepines (also known as benzos) like Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Phenazepam. Furthermore, this drug has similar chemistry to these drugs and commonly prescribed to treat anxiety. In addition, like others, it inhibits brain activity by increasing a brain neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). As a result, this drug eliminates the feeling of anxiety and induces sleepiness or feeling relaxed. There are also several non-benzodiazepine alternatives like Ambien. Therefore, the drug is categorized as a Schedule IV Controlled Substances. This means they have the potential to be highly addictive, but allowed for medical purposes. Presently, this drug usually comes in the form of capsules with strengths of 7.5 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg. As far as it is a prescription medication, anyone found to be in possession without a prescription could face legal actions leading to imprisonment and fines.

What are Medical Uses of Restoril

Initially, doctors prescribe Restoril as an anti-anxiety medication, but also to people with sleeping problems like insomnia. Incidentally, to people aged 65 years old and above, they give a initial dosage of 7.5 mg and is adjusted depending on one’s need. In fact, based on the drug’s manufacturer, patients with insomnia is getting an average of 7 to 8 hours of sleep after taking these sleeping pills.

Risks Of taking Restoril

restoril in yellow bottleFirstly, the intake of Restoril can result in drug addiction. People under this drug prescription could develop high tolerance within the three days of consumption. As a result, it prompts them to take more to achieve the desired effect. Therefore, when an individual shows signs of addiction to Restoril, expect the withdrawal syndrome to be a painful process.
Additionally, there are also cases wherein some people taking Restoril could develop allergic reactions to it. Consequently, it can lead to anaphylaxis, a fatal syndrome where the throat shuts down, and the person will experience difficulty in breathing. Among the allergic reactions to watch out for are swelling of the face, lips, eyes, throat and tongue. While some complain hoarseness, rash, and hives. If this occurs while taking Restoril, stop and seek immediate medical assistance.
Restoril is not also advised on individuals with the following conditions:

  • History of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression
  • Mental illness
  • Breathing problems
  • Seizures

Doctors also do not prescribe Restoril to pregnant women because it could result in birth defects.

Side effects of Restoril

The common side effects of Restoril to people under this medication are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach problems (diarrhea)
  • Flu symptoms
  • Pale skin
  • Restless muscle movement around the eyes, tongue, jaw and neck
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry mouth

Alarming side effects could also affect the mental condition of the user and could cause the following:

  • Mental confusion
  • Acting strangely
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Suicidal attempts
  • Inability to stay focused

What drugs to avoid when taking Restoril?

What is a drug interaction major rule to follow while taking Restoril? This drug slows down a person’s rate of breathing, metabolism, and heartbeat. Furthermore, patients should not combine this drug with other stimulants that do the opposite. As a result, it could worsen patients condition like depression and lead to bodily harm or overdose.
Among the drugs that a person taking Restoril must avoid:

  • Dioxin
  • Drugs for mental illness
  • Antihistamines (Benadryl, Disulfiram))
  • Seizure drugs
  • Antibiotics
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Nicotine

Restoril Overdose

Actually, the increase in doses of Restoril could cause a fatality. The following are the symptoms of overdose and person must be brought immediately to the hospital for medical assistance:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Slow breathing
  • Absent reflexes
  • Lose consciousness and succumb to a coma and die

Restoril Addiction

If one is taking Restoril for a week, take it only at bedtime, this will not cause addiction as far as it is a fast acting drug and leaves the system relatively fast. In any case, the problem of addiction arises when the person under this medication abuses it and mixes it with other substances like alcohol.
Presently, people with addiction problems take it to reduce the side effects of other drugs. For example, a cocaine user will be given temazepam to treat his or her anxiety and feeling of agitation.

Restoril Withdrawal Symptoms

People who develop a high tolerance to Restoril could experience the following unpleasant symptoms during the withdrawal:

  • Seizures
  • Convulsion
  • Body tremors
  • Abdominal problems (stomach cramps)
  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal attempts
  • Rebound insomnia

Restoril Addiction Treatment

Quitting must not be done cold turkey and without medical supervision because the withdrawal syndrome may have dangerous effects. One should treat anyone with addiction in a hospital or drug rehabilitation facility with the presence of medical professionals and therapies. For example, one of the most recommended forms of treatment for people with addiction is admission into a residential facility. Consequently, the patient will stay there and undergo a series of medical and therapeutic treatment 24/7 for a few months or more. This depends on one’s level of addiction and length of usage. Here, the admitted patient will undergo detox. Moreover, they will attend private and group counseling, join activities that will teach them life to form skills to cope with the trigger factors. In addition, they will get into shape through sports and learn to live a normal life free from drugs.

No doubt, the whole addiction treatment program aims to help patient fight the intense cravings and avoid a relapse. Part of the treatment is the aftercare program. This is where the patient is advised to attend regular counseling, group sessions and support from both the community and addiction treatment services after returning to his or her home.

Page Sources

  1. McElnay J. C., Jones M. E., Alexander B. Temazepam (Restoril, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals). Drug intelligence & clinical pharmacy. 1982; 16(9):650-6.
  2. Medline Plus. Temazepam. 2019.

Published on: January 24th, 2017

Updated on: July 6th, 2021

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.