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Temazepam (By mouth)

Treats insomnia.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Temazepam is used to treat insomnia (trouble with sleeping). This medicine is for short-term (usually 7 to 10 days) use only. Temazepam is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are medicines that slow down the nervous system. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Drug classes About this
Antianxiety, Hypnotic

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Drug Class Review: Newer Drugs for Insomnia: Final Report Update 2 [Internet]

Insomnia is a serious health problem that affects millions of people. Population surveys have estimated the prevalence of insomnia to be about 30% to 50% of the general population. About three-fourths of people who have trouble sleeping say that the problem is "occasional," averaging about 6 nights per month, with one-fourth having frequent or chronic insomnia, averaging about 16 nights per month. Individuals with insomnia most often report a combination of difficulty falling asleep and intermittent wakefulness during sleep. Treatment of insomnia involves behavioral changes, such as minimizing habits that interfere with sleep (for example, drinking coffee or engaging in stressful activities in the evening), and pharmacotherapy with sedating antidepressants (for example, trazodone), sedating antihistamines, anticholinergics, benzodiazepines, or nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics. The benzodiazepines and the newer sedative hypnotics zolpidem, zaleplon, zopiclone, and eszopiclone work through gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors. Ramelteon, a hypnotic approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2005, is a selective melatonin receptor (MT1 and MT2) agonist. New nonbenzodiazepine drugs have been sought for multiple reasons, including reduction of the risk of tolerance, dependence, and abuse associated with benzodiazepines. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the comparative evidence on benefits and harms of these medications in people with insomnia to help policymakers and clinicians make informed choices about the use of newer drugs for insomnia.

Benzodiazepines in Older Adults: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Guidelines [Internet]

The use of benzodiazepines has been associated with several adverse effects including, ataxia, dizziness, over-sedation, anterograde amnesia, and dependence. The severity of adverse effects, particularly those associated with the central nervous system, may be greater in older adults. Therefore, close monitoring is typically recommended when benzodiazepines are used by older adults. In addition, several reviews and guidelines recommend that the use of long-acting benzodiazepines by older adults be avoided. High utilization by older adults and documented safety concerns indicate that a review of the evidence on the use of benzodiazepines by older adults is warranted.

Drug Class Review: Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs: Final Update 3 Report [Internet]

Atypical antipsychotic agents are used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The purpose of this review is to help policy makers and clinicians make informed choices about their use. Given the prominent role of drug therapy in psychiatric disease, our goal is to summarize comparative data on efficacy, effectiveness, tolerability, and safety. Ten atypical antipsychotics are currently available in the United States and Canada. Clozapine, the prototypic atypical antipsychotic, was introduced in 1989. Since then, 9 other atypical antipsychotics have been brought to market: risperidone (1993), risperidone long-acting injection (2003), olanzapine (1996), quetiapine (1997), ziprasidone (2001), aripiprazole (2002), extended-release paliperidone (2006), asenapine (2009), iloperidone (2009), and paliperidone long-acting injection (2009).

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Summaries for consumers

Medications to prevent post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): a review of the evidence

‐ People affected by PTSD and their families.

Effects of opioid, hypnotic and sedating medications on obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in adults with known OSA

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder characterised by intermittent apnoeas (pauses in breathing) leading to dips in oxygen levels in the blood during sleep. Many people with known or unknown (undiagnosed) OSA receive hypnotics, sedatives and opiate/opioid drugs to treat other conditions including pain, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Opiates/opioids are commonly prescribed to treat pain after major surgery. These drugs might make sleep apnoea worse ‐ increasing the frequency and duration of apnoeas.

Muscle relaxants for pain management in rheumatoid arthritis

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of muscle relaxants on pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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