How Long Does Restoril (Temazepam) Stay in Your System?

Short- to Intermediate-Acting Bezodiazepine

Restoril (temazepam) is a benzodiazepine which is a central-nervous-system depressant and a controlled substance. It is typically prescribed as a short-term sleeping aid for no more than 10 days. It slows activity in the brain.

When combined with other depressants or alcohol, or taken in large dosages, Restoril can cause a loss of consciousness and respiratory failure. It is important to know how long Restoril remains in your system so that you do not have any negative drug interactions.

How Restoril Acts in Your System

Restoril (temazepam) is classified as a short- to intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. The amount of time a benzodiazepine remains in your systems depends on whether or not it is an ultra-short, short, intermediate or long-acting benzodiazepine. Ultra-short benzos have a half-life of fewer than 5 hours, while short to intermediate-acting benzodiazepines have a half-life from five to 24 hours. Long-acting benzos have a half-life exceeding 24 hours.

Restoril begins to work in 10 to 20 minutes after taking a dose, with peak levels in about 1.5 hours. Then it is metabolized with a half-life in two phases, one short and one long. It is metabolized by the liver and most is secreted in the urine. It's recommended that you only take Restoril if you are able to remain asleep for 7 to 8 hours as the medication will be sedating you during that time period.

The side effects most often noted are feeling groggy the next day, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. You may also have instances of sleepwalking, which can include activities such as driving, cooking, talking on the phone, and having sex, but you have no memory of doing them.

Interaction With Other Drugs

You must not drink alcohol while taking Restoril or you risk a life-threatening breathing problem, sedation, or coma. Other medications you must not take with Restoril are those with any opiates, including codeine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, Demerol, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, or tramadol.

Other drugs that can cause negative interactions with Restoril include antidepressants; antihistamines such as Benadryl; digoxin; and medications for anxiety, mental illness, seizures, or pain; sedatives; other sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Discuss all of your medications, prescription or otherwise, with your doctor so they can be adjusted to avoid serious drug interactions.

Serious Side Effects and Overdose

Call your doctor immediately if you experience a rash, hives, swelling of the face, hoarseness, or difficulty breathing or swallowing. Signs of an overdose are confusion, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and difficulty breathing.

How Long Restoril Stays in Your System

How long Restoril is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including which kind drug test is being used and the amount of the drug that you have taken. It will show as positive on a typical urine drug screen such as done for employment. A typical therapeutic dose will appear positive for up to 5 days, while heavier or longer use may show up for 6 weeks. Disclose your prescriptions to the testing laboratory so they can interpret the test appropriately.

View Article Sources
  • Benzodiazepines. Mayo Medical Laboratories.
  • Medication Guide - Restoril. FDA.
  • Temazepam. MedlinePlus NIH.