Restoril Side Effects – The Major and Minor Side Effects One Should Know

Last Updated: August 18, 2021

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Restoril™ (Temazepam) is used to treat insomnia, which is also known as sleep difficulty. However, some adverse events can also result from its usage. This section will give you detailed information about the common side effects of Temazepam, the circumstances under which they occur, and what to do in such situations.

Major Restoril Side Effects

When used appropriately to treat insomnia, Temazepam is well tolerated by most individuals. However, some severe adverse reactions can result during use. If you experience any of the symptoms of Restoril side effects listed here, promptly call in for emergency medical attention.

The manifestations of these severe adverse events may include: 

  • Shallow breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Out of character behavior
  • Suicide thoughts
  • Thoughts of hurting self or other people
  • Unwilling muscle movements
  • Unexplainable bruises
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills
  • Urine or stool of unusual color
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Memory loss
  • Nightmares
  • Tolerance
  • Addiction

These severe adverse reactions of Temazepam may occur in circumstances of hypersensitivity (allergic reaction) to any of its ingredients or interaction with other medications you may be taking along with it. Thus, in order to avoid the emergence of any Restoril adverse events, you need to provide your doctor with information about your medication history before taking this drug. Inform your doctor about any drugs (especially opioid drugs and antidepressants), herbal products or alcohol you are using, or pre-existing health conditions, as all these can precipitate severe adverse reactions of Temazepam.

Minor side effects of Restoril

Temazepam may also cause some mild and transient adverse reactions in about 1% of patients who use it. Call your doctor if any of these adverse events become severe or overly prolonged during therapy.

These milder reactions may include:

  • Hangover event (grogginess the day after taking this drug)
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Coordination issues
  • Irritability
  • Stomach problems
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

Restoril Overdose

An overdose may result in using this drug when used against its dosage instructions or used in combination with other depressant drugs such as alcohol or opioid drugs like codeine, fentanyl, methadone, etc., or with stimulant drugs like amphetamine (Adderall) and Methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Temazepam overdose is dangerous, as Temazepam side effects of long-term use and overdose are considerably more likely than diazepam to result in fatal outcomes like depression. This medication also accounted for 65% of all deaths caused by an overdose of a benzodiazepine drug.

Thus, to prevent Restoril overdose, make sure that you follow the correct instructions for its use and listen to warnings given by the medical personnel.

Restoril Overdose Symptoms

This drug is a central nervous system depressant. As such, Restoril overdose can prompt an exaggeration of its normal action on brain function and other physical activities, thus resulting in deleterious outcomes.

In case of an overdose, you may experience symptoms like:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Intense drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremor
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma

In such cases, immediately present at an emergency unit for medical intervention. Your caregivers should be alerted if you can not seek treatment by yourself. Treatment of an overdose is often done by first inducing emesis, mechanically or with drugs if the patient is conscious. Gastric lavage is done with cuffed endotracheal tubes to prevent pulmonary complications in unconscious patients. Specific benzodiazepine antagonists such as Flumazenil are indicated for the complete or partial reversal of the sedative reaction, while pressor agents can be used to control the hypotension caused by the overdose.

Use in Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers

Temazepam belongs to the “Class X” pregnancy category of drugs and is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. Thus, enlightening women about Temazepam and pregnancy is crucial. It has also been associated with congenital disabilities and/or withdrawal symptoms in newborns of women who had used the drug while pregnant. The safety of this medication has not been established in breastfeeding women. Therefore, care should be taken with the use of Temazepam to treat insomnia during pregnancy. Caretakers should give warnings about the age specification for use and the consequences of Temazepam and pregnancy.

Allergic Reactions to Restoril

Sometimes, an allergic reaction may occur while taking Temazepam. This can be triggered in case of hypersensitivity to benzodiazepine drugs or any of their constituents. If and when you notice symptoms like hives, body parts swelling, or breathing problems, stop taking the drug and reach out for medical help immediately.

Precautions for Use

This medication is a controlled drug; hence there might be a limit to how much of the medication refill you can get. In addition, you need to note its unwanted reactions, which include drowsiness, and make sure that you do not abuse or overdose on it. Also, it is important that you keep a written list of all medications and supplements you are using and discuss them with your doctor before starting this medication.

Women who are pregnant or within childbearing ages should discuss with their health experts about Temazepam and pregnancy. Ensure you follow the instruction for usage as given by the doctor or pharmacist. Temazepam should be taken only at bedtime, so do not take it when you are not ready to sleep or won’t stay in bed for 7-8 hours. Also, ensure wakefulness before getting out of bed, especially if you wake up during the night. And, in any case, report any untoward reactions you are having early. Suppose you want to use Temazepam to treat insomnia safely; make sure that you listen to your caregiver’s information and warning.


Page Sources

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  2. FDA (2016). Temazepam. Drugs at FDA. Accessed. 4/8/21. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/018163s064lbl.pdf
  3. MedlinePlus (2021). Temazepam. Drugs, herbs, and supplements. [Online]. Accessed 4/8/21. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684003.html#side-effects
  4. Geulayov G, Ferrey A, Casey D, Wells C, Fuller A, Bankhead C, et al. (2018). Relative toxicity of benzodiazepines and hypnotics commonly used for self-poisoning: An epidemiological study of fatal toxicity and case fatality. J Psychopharmacol. Jun;32(6):654-662. doi:10.1177/0269881118754734
  5. DailyMed (2021). Label: Restoril: Temazepam Capsule. Accessed: 4/8/21 https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=bc56f7fd-1aaf-48ff-8aa7-d467e59e1015
  6. Aronson J.k. (2016). Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs: The International Encyclopedia of Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions Reference Work. 16 edition

Published on: April 10th, 2017

Updated on: August 18th, 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.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.