TEMAZEPAM- temazepam capsule
AvKARE, Inc.

Rx only


Temazepam is a benzodiazepine hypnotic agent. The chemical name is 7-chloro-1,3-dihydro-3-hydroxy-1-methyl-5-phenyl-2 H -1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one, and the structural formula is:

Chemical Structure

Temazepam is a white, crystalline substance, very slightly soluble in water and sparingly soluble in alcohol USP.

Temazepam capsules, 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 22.5 mg, and 30 mg, are for oral administration.

Active Ingredient: temazepam USP

Inactive Ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate. The capsule shell contains gelatin and titanium dioxide. The capsule shell for the 7.5 mg also contains FD&C Blue #1 and FD&C Red #40; the capsule shell for 15 mg and 22.5 mg also contains D&C Yellow #10, FD&C Blue #1 and FD&C Yellow #6. The imprinting ink contains: D&C Yellow #10, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Blue #2, FD&C Red #40, iron oxide black and propylene glycol.



In a single and multiple dose absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) study, using 3 H labeled drug, temazepam capsules were well absorbed and found to have minimal (8%) first pass metabolism. There were no active metabolites formed and the only significant metabolite present in blood was the O-conjugate. The unchanged drug was 96% bound to plasma proteins. The blood level decline of the parent drug was biphasic with the short half-life ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 hours and the terminal half-life from 3.5 to 18.4 hours (mean 8.8 hours), depending on the study population and method of determination. Metabolites were formed with a half-life of 10 hours and excreted with a half-life of approximately 2 hours. Thus, formation of the major metabolite is the rate limiting step in the biodisposition of temazepam. There is no accumulation of metabolites. A dose-proportional relationship has been established for the area under the plasma concentration/time curve over the 15 to 30 mg dose range.

Temazepam was completely metabolized through conjugation prior to excretion; 80% to 90% of the dose appeared in the urine. The major metabolite was the O-conjugate of temazepam (90%); the O-conjugate of N-desmethyl temazepam was a minor metabolite (7%).

Bioavailability, Induction, and Plasma Levels

Following ingestion of a 30 mg temazepam capsule, measurable plasma concentrations were achieved 10 to 20 minutes after dosing with peak plasma levels ranging from 666 to 982 ng/mL (mean 865 ng/mL) occurring approximately 1.2 to 1.6 hours (mean 1.5 hours) after dosing.

In a 7 day study, in which subjects were given a 30 mg temazepam capsule 1 hour before retiring, steady-state (as measured by the attainment of maximal trough concentrations) was achieved by the third dose. Mean plasma levels of temazepam (for days 2 to 7) were 260±210 ng/mL at 9 hours and 75±80 ng/mL at 24 hours after dosing. A slight trend toward declining 24 hour plasma levels was seen after day 4 in the study, however, the 24 hour plasma levels were quite variable.

At a dose of 30 mg once-a-day for 8 weeks, no evidence of enzyme induction was found in man.

Elimination Rate of Benzodiazepine Hypnotics and Profile of Common Untoward Effects

The type and duration of hypnotic effects and the profile of unwanted effects during administration of benzodiazepine hypnotics may be influenced by the biologic half-life of the administered drug and for some hypnotics, the half-life of any active metabolites formed. Benzodiazepine hypnotics have a spectrum of half-lives from short (<4 hours) to long (>20 hours). When half-lives are long, drug (and for some drugs their active metabolites) may accumulate during periods of nightly administration and be associated with impairments of cognitive and/or motor performance during waking hours; the possibility of interaction with other psychoactive drugs or alcohol will be enhanced. In contrast, if half-lives are shorter, drug (and, where appropriate, its active metabolites) will be cleared before the next dose is ingested, and carry-over effects related to excessive sedation or CNS depression should be minimal or absent. However, during nightly use for an extended period, pharmacodynamic tolerance or adaptation to some effects of benzodiazepine hypnotics may develop. If the drug has a short elimination half-life, it is possible that a relative deficiency of the drug, or, if appropriate, its active metabolites (i.e., in relationship to the receptor site) may occur at some point in the interval between each night’s use. This sequence of events may account for 2 clinical findings reported to occur after several weeks of nightly use of rapidly eliminated benzodiazepine hypnotics, namely, increased wakefulness during the last third of the night, and the appearance of increased signs of daytime anxiety.

Controlled Trials Supporting Efficacy

Temazepam capsules improved sleep parameters in clinical studies. Residual medication effects (“hangover”) were essentially absent. Early morning awakening, a particular problem in the geriatric patient, was significantly reduced.

Patients with chronic insomnia were evaluated in 2 week, placebo controlled sleep laboratory studies with temazepam capsules at doses of 7.5 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg, given 30 minutes prior to bedtime. There was a linear dose-response improvement in total sleep time and sleep latency, with significant drug-placebo differences at 2 weeks occurring only for total sleep time at the 2 higher doses, and for sleep latency only at the highest dose.

In these sleep laboratory studies, REM sleep was essentially unchanged and slow wave sleep was decreased. No measurable effects on daytime alertness or performance occurred following temazepam capsules treatment or during the withdrawal period, even though a transient sleep disturbance in some sleep parameters was observed following withdrawal of the higher doses. There was no evidence of tolerance development in the sleep laboratory parameters when patients were given temazepam capsules nightly for at least 2 weeks.

In addition, normal subjects with transient insomnia associated with first night adaptation to the sleep laboratory were evaluated in 24 hour, placebo controlled sleep laboratory studies with temazepam capsules at doses of 7.5 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg, given 30 minutes prior to bedtime. There was a linear dose-response improvement in total sleep time, sleep latency and number of awakenings, with significant drug-placebo differences occurring for sleep latency at all doses, for total sleep time at the 2 higher doses and for number of awakenings only at the 30 mg dose.

Temazepam Indications and Usage

Temazepam capsules are indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia (generally 7 to 10 days).

For patients with short-term insomnia, instructions in the prescription should indicate that temazepam capsules should be used for short periods of time (7 to 10 days).

The clinical trials performed in support of efficacy were 2 weeks in duration with the final formal assessment of sleep latency performed at the end of treatment.


Benzodiazepines may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. An increased risk of congenital malformations associated with the use of diazepam and chlordiazepoxide during the first trimester of pregnancy has been suggested in several studies. Transplacental distribution has resulted in neonatal CNS depression following the ingestion of therapeutic doses of a benzodiazepine hypnotic during the last weeks of pregnancy.

Reproduction studies in animals with temazepam were performed in rats and rabbits. In a perinatal- postnatal study in rats, oral doses of 60 mg/kg/day resulted in increasing nursling mortality. Teratology studies in rats demonstrated increased fetal resorptions at doses of 30 and 120 mg/kg in one study and increased occurrence of rudimentary ribs, which are considered skeletal variants, in a second study at doses of 240 mg/kg or higher. In rabbits, occasional abnormalities such as exencephaly and fusion or asymmetry of ribs were reported without dose relationship. Although these abnormalities were not found in the concurrent control group, they have been reported to occur randomly in historical controls. At doses of 40 mg/kg or higher, there was an increased incidence of the 13th rib variant when compared to the incidence in concurrent and historical controls.

Temazepam capsules are contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Patients should be instructed to discontinue the drug prior to becoming pregnant. The possibility that a woman of childbearing potential may be pregnant at the time of institution of therapy should be considered.


Sleep disturbance may be the presenting manifestation of an underlying physical and/or psychiatric disorder. Consequently, a decision to initiate symptomatic treatment of insomnia should only be made after the patient has been carefully evaluated. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. Worsening of insomnia may be the consequence of an unrecognized psychiatric or physical disorder as may the emergence of new abnormalities of thinking or behavior. Such abnormalities have also been reported to occur in association with the use of drugs with central nervous system depressant activity, including those of the benzodiazepine class. Because some of the worrisome adverse effects of benzodiazepines, including temazepam capsules, appear to be dose related ( see PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION), it is important to use the lowest possible effective dose. Elderly patients are especially at risk.

Some of these changes may be characterized by decreased inhibition, e.g., aggressiveness and extroversion that seem out of character, similar to that seen with alcohol. Other kinds of behavioral changes can also occur, for example, bizarre behavior, agitation, hallucinations, and depersonalization. Complex behaviors such as “sleep-driving” (i.e., driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic, with amnesia for the event) have been reported. These events can occur in sedative-hypnotic-naïve as well as in sedative-hypnotic-experienced persons. Although behaviors such as sleep-driving may occur with temazepam capsules alone at therapeutic doses, the use of alcohol and other CNS depressants with temazepam capsules appears to increase the risk of such behaviors, as does the use of temazepam capsules at doses exceeding the maximum recommended dose. Due to the risk to the patient and the community, discontinuation of temazepam capsules should be strongly considered for patients who report a “sleep-driving” episode. Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with sleep-driving, patients usually do not remember these events. Amnesia and other neuro-psychiatric symptoms may occur unpredictably. In primarily depressed patients, worsening of depression, including suicidal thinking has been reported in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics.

It can rarely be determined with certainty whether a particular instance of the abnormal behaviors listed above is drug induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying psychiatric or physical disorder. Nonetheless, the emergence of any new behavioral sign or symptom of concern requires careful and immediate evaluation.

Withdrawal symptoms (of the barbiturate type) have occurred after the abrupt discontinuation of benzodiazepines ( see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE).

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