How Does Temazepam Work?

How Does Temazepam Work?

Temazepam 20 mg is a benzodiazepine sleeping pill. This class of pharmaceuticals is indicated by their chemical structure of a benzene ring fused with a diazepine ring. They are synthetic medications which function by depressing the central nervous system (CNS).

Anxiety and sleep disorders require benzodiazepines because these therapeutics bind to the GABAA receptor. GABA is the chief neurotransmitter of the nervous system and its function is to inhibit brain activity. By binding to GABA, this function is further decreased and therefore allows the benzodiazepine to complete its role of achieving a state in which can easily fall asleep.

When ingested via the oral route of administration, the temazepam tablets travel through the stomach and the small intestine to reach the liver where it is broken down. The active ingredient in the sleep medication is then absorbed by the bloodstream and travels to the organs and tissues which the blood reaches. This transportation of blood and medicine allows for the role of the benzodiazepine to be accomplished because the therapeutic then interacts with GABA.

Once the inhibitory effects of GABA are potentiated, the user will enter a state of calm and muscle relaxation will follow so that sleep induction can occur.

How Long Does Temazepam Take to Work?

Benzodiazepines can be categorised as short, intermediary or long-acting medications. This categorisation is made based on how long the effects of the medicine tend to last. The short and intermediary benzodiazepines are suitable for insomnia, because treatment should be on a short-term basis. The longer acting benzodiazepines are normally used for the management of anxiety.

Temazepam tablets are considered as intermediary benzodiazepines and therefore effective for the treatment of insomnia. It has also been very useful as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication), helping numerous patients.
For a medication to carry out its function, it has to be first absorbed by the bloodstream. There are factors which affect this absorption and they include:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Stress-level
  • pH level and content of the stomach
  • Gender
  • Fitness level

All things considered, temazepam takes approximately 30 minutes to come into effect and the peak levels can be achieved two to three hours after administration. Foods, such as grapefruit, are known to interact with the efficacy of this sleep medication and should be used with caution. Grapefruit interacts with temazepam and leads to elevated plasma levels of the medicine. Other substances, like tobacco can also affect the efficacy of this benzodiazepine.

Can I Take Two Temazepam Tablets?

The amount of temazepam tablets you can take depends on several factors. This is decided by your body's response to the active ingredient in the medication. Temazepam is typically well-tolerated and the right dosage can be achieved through a proper treatment schedule.

Initially, a 7.5 mg dosage is advised for the treatment of sleep disturbances. Some adults may require 15 mg or 30 mg but this is determined by how well you respond to the initial dose. If there are no adverse effects noted and the desired therapeutic benefits are not obtained following the initial dosage, the dosage may be increased. This process can be repeated until the desired effects are achieved without the onset of any adverse events. If at any time there are side effects noticeable, the dose should be lowered.

Because age is a factor in determining the appropriate dosage, the elderly should only take 75 mg of this sleep medicine. This is to alleviate the risk of heightened therapeutic effects and adverse events in seniors who are prone to these situations.

Never Mix Temazepam and  Alcohol

Never Mix Temazepam and Alcohol

It is commonly known that alcohol affects brain function and that you should never medications with alcohol. This is because after the initial stimulatory effects of alcohol, the primary function of alcohol is to depress the CNS, much like medications, and causes the body to slow down.

The consequences of mixing alcohol with temazepam tablets may be relatively mild. It could decrease the effectiveness of the medication. On the other hand, the consequences may be harmful or even life-threatening. This occurs when the heart rate and blood pressure are affected. As CNS depressants, both alcohol and benzodiazepines, decrease the heart rate and blood pressure levels. When used concomitantly, the effects are potentiated into levels which can be dangerous to one's health.

Even in smaller quantities alcohol can intensify the side effects associated with a medication.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) carried out a seven year period of research in which there were over 27000 emergency room visits because of mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines. This report revealed that when used in conjunction, the outcomes of these situations were at least 38% serious and involved hospitalisation or fatalities.

Is Temazepam Safe During Pregnancy

In every situation, a mother starts out with a 3% to 5% risk of having a baby with a birth defect. This is known as the background risk. While it may be appropriate to minimise the use of pharmaceuticals when pregnant, the consequences of not using medications may be serious and the potential risks can be overlooked if they are outweighed by the potential benefits.
Benzodiazepines are generally not recommended for use when pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because:

  • There may be a risk of withdrawal symptoms in the newborn
  • There may be a risk of foetal harm, such as congenital malformations, when benzodiazepines are administered during pregnancy

The data involving the use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy is controversial. Whilst there is concern of a cleft lip or palate when using these medications during child bearing, the risk is thought to be relatively small (0.7%).

McElhatton (1994) indicated that use of benzodiazepines in the first trimester generally led to infants being born normal and who had normal postnatal development. The risks were greater when the medications were used in the late third trimester and were associated to the placental and pharmokinetic transfer of the benzodiazepine to the neonate.

Prolonged use of benzodiazepines throughout gestation were indicated as being concerning as there could be transmitter and synthesis alterations, which can lead to neurobehavioral issues in the children.

Like most benzodiazepines, temazepam 20 mg tablets tablets are not recommended for use during pregnancy, but some experts advise its use in some circumstances with the contraindications (risks) listed above.
Check out the following link for more information on sleeping tablets.

Updated: 22nd January 2021
Review Due: January 2022



Fueled with a passion to try and help people less fortunate than himself Steve immersed himself in the medical industry. By researching new and innovative medical advancements and regularly sharing important information on social media Steve intends to make a difference where it matters most, people's health. His wealth of knowledge and keen eye for detail will help keep our readers informed and contribute towards improved health.

Tony Shaw – Feb 27, 2021
Hello Steve, I just wanted to drop you a quick message to pass on my appreciation. Your knowledge on Insomnia, the causes and the various methods to manage the condition are remarkable and have given me a much better understanding. Temazepam as you suggested is highly effective, I was sleeping within 30 minutes of taking the tablet and did not wake up until my alarm went off the following morning. Thanks Tony Shaw

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