Flurazepam is used to treat insomnia (difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep).
Flurazepam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow sleep.
Side Effects Of Flurazepam
Flurazepam may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- loss of coordination
- stomach pain
- talking more than usual
- joint pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor immediately:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- pounding heartbeat
- chest pain
- coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking flurazepam:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to flurazepam, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in flurazepam capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take during your treatment with flurazepam and for several days afterward. Be sure to mention any of the following: antihistamines; cimetidine; clozapine (Clozaril, Versacloz); digoxin; medications for anxiety, depression, mental illness, or seizures; muscle relaxants; sedatives; other sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, use or have ever used street drugs, or have overused prescription medications. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression; mental illness; sleep apnea (a sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop for short periods during sleep); or lung, kidney, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking flurazepam, call your doctor immediately.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking flurazepam if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take flurazepam because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking flurazepam.
- you should know that this medication may make you drowsy and may increase the risk that you could fall. Take extra care to be sure you do not fall, especially if you get out of bed in the middle of the night. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.
- you should know that some people who took medications for sleep got out of bed and drove their cars, prepared and ate food, had sex, made phone calls, or were involved in other activities while partially asleep. After they woke up, these people were usually unable to remember what they had done. Call your doctor right away if you find out that you have been driving or doing anything else while you were sleeping.
Dosage Of Flurazepam
Flurazepam comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken as needed at bedtime. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take flurazepam exactly as directed.
Flurazepam starts working slowly and continues to work for a short time after you stop taking it. You may experience more benefit from flurazepam on the second and third nights after you start taking it. You may continue to feel the effects of flurazepam for one to two nights after you stop taking the medication.
Your sleep problems should improve within 7 to 10 days after you start taking flurazepam. Call your doctor if your sleep problems do not improve during this time, if they get worse at any time during your treatment, or if you notice any changes in your thoughts or behavior.
Flurazepam can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor.
If your doctor has told you to take flurazepam regularly, talk to your doctor before you stop taking this medication. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually. If you suddenly stop taking flurazepam, especially after taking it regularly, you may develop withdrawal symptoms such as sadness, difficulty sleeping, seizures, uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting and sweating.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Flurazepam is a controlled substance. Prescriptions may be refilled only a limited number of times; ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.