What is temazepam, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Temazepam is a drug that is used for treating anxiety. It is in the benzodiazepine class of drugs, the same family that includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), and others. Temazepam and other benzodiazepines act by enhancing the effects of gamma- aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger that nerve cells use to communicate with each other) that inhibits many of the activities of the brain. It is believed that excessive activity in the brain may lead to anxiety or other psychiatric disorders and that temazepam reduces the activity. Temazepam increases total sleep time. The FDA approved temazepam in February 1981.

What brand names are available for temazepam?


Is temazepam available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for temazepam?


What are the side effects of temazepam?

The most common side effects associated with temazepam are

Other important side effects include:

What is the dosage for temazepam?

The recommended dose of temazepam is 7.5 to 30 mg taken about 30 minutes prior to bedtime. For elderly patients, start with 7.5 mg until the response is determined.

Which drugs or supplements interact with temazepam?

Alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness increase the effects of temazepam.

Is temazepam safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Temazepam and other benzodiazepines have been associated with fetal damage, including congenital malformations, when taken by pregnant women in their first trimester. Temazepam should be avoided during pregnancy.

Use by nursing mothers has not been adequately studied.

What else should I know about temazepam?

What preparations of temazepam are available?

Capsules: 7.5, 15, 22.5, and 30 mg

How should I keep temazepam stored?

Capsules should be kept at room temperature, 20 C – 25 C (68 F – 77 F).

Medically Reviewed on 3/1/2019


Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


FDA Prescribing Information