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

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Restoril (temazepam) is a medication that slows the activity of your brain. It is prescribed as a short-term sleeping aid for people with insomnia. It can be habit-forming, therefore, it is not usually prescribed for longer than 10 days.

Restoril is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are central-nervous-system depressants and Schedule IV controlled substances. When combined with other depressants or alcohol, or when taken in large dosages, Restoril can cause a loss of consciousness and respiratory failure.

To avoid negative drug interactions, it's important to know how long the medication will stay in your system. Restoril can be detected in your body from one to 90 days, depending on factors like dosage, age, weight, and metabolism, as well as the type of detection test used.

How Long Does Restoril Stay in Your System?

Blood: Up to 24 hours

Urine: Up to one week

Saliva: Up to 24 hours

Hair: Up to 90 days

How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects?

Restoril is classified as a short- to intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. It begins to work in 10 to 20 minutes after you take a dose. The levels of the medication will peak about one and a half hours later.

It's recommended that you only take Restoril if you are able to stay in bed for seven to eight hours before you have to get up again (which is about how long you will be affected by the medication).

Restoril Side Effects

Common side effects of Restoril include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling groggy the next day
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness

While it is uncommon, you might experience sleepwalking while you are taking Restoril. Episodes of sleepwalking can include engaging in activities such as driving, cooking, talking on the phone, and having sex with no memory of having done these things.

Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects you experience that get worse or do not go away.

How Long Does Restoril Last?

The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for half the drug to be eliminated from your system. It takes five to seven half-lives to clear out 98% of a drug dose. The amount of time a benzodiazepine remains in your system partly depends on what type it is: ultra-short, short, intermediate, or long-acting.

Ultra-short benzodiazepines have a half-life of fewer than five hours, while short- to intermediate-acting benzodiazepines like Restoril have a half-life from five to 24 hours. Long-acting benzodiazepines have a half-life exceeding 24 hours.

The average half-life of Restoril is around 9 hours.

Restoril is metabolized by your liver with a half-life in two phases—one short and one long. Most of the drug is excreted in your urine. In general, the typical detection windows for benzodiazepines are different for urine, blood, and saliva, and hair.

Urine

A typical therapeutic dose of Restoril will appear positive on a urine drug screen (such as those done for employment purposes) for an average of five days to a week. Heavier or longer use of the medication can create a positive urine test for weeks.

Blood

Restoril clears out of your bloodstream much faster than it does from your urine. It is usually only detectable in blood for up to 24 hours.

Saliva

Restoril can be detectable in your saliva for 24 hours or longer.

Hair

As with all drugs, Restoril can be detected in your hair. The range of detection for Restoril starts at about two to three weeks after you take the medication and can go up to three months after your last dose.

False Positive Testing

Certain medications may cause a false positive urine screen for Restoril. The antidepressant medication Zoloft (sertraline) and prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Daypro (oxaprozin) reportedly can cause a false-positive urine test for benzodiazepines like Restoril.

Certain medications, including some antidepressants, can cause a false-positive result for Restoril on a drug screen.

If you are taking Restoril and need to take a drug screening for work, tell the testing laboratory before giving a sample. This will help them interpret your results. You might also want to inform your employer (or prospective employer) that you're taking Restoril ahead of time.

Factors That Affect Detection Time

How long Restoril is detectable in your body depends on many variables, including your metabolism, weight, amount of body fat, and hydration status. The amount of Restoril that you take and how long you have been taking it, as well as the type of test that is used, will also affect your results.

Age

Your age can play a factor in the half-life of Restoril. The average half-life of the drug is higher for healthy older adults than it is for healthy young adults.

Weight

Being overweight makes it more difficult for your body to eliminate Restoril, which can increase the half-life of the drug. 

Metabolism

People who have a higher metabolism (which can be influenced by hydration, age, activity level, and other health conditions) tend to be able to excrete Restoril faster than people with a slower metabolic rate.

Alcohol Misuse

Combining alcohol and Restoril can cause a fatal overdose. Alcohol can increase Restoril's sedative effects as well as make it harder for your body to break down the drug.

Symptoms of Overdose

Restoril can be habit-forming. It's important to take the medication according to the schedule and dosage that your health care provider has prescribed. Misuse of Restoril can lead to symptoms of an overdose, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness

If you think someone has overdosed on Restoril, call poison control at 1-800-222-1222. If the person has a seizure, loses consciousness, or has difficulty breathing, call 911.

Allergic Reactions

It is also possible to develop a severe allergic reaction to Restoril. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Rash
  • Swelling of your face

If you are taking Restoril and have symptoms of an allergic reaction, go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.

Drug Interactions

You should avoid drinking alcohol, using street drugs, or taking opiates (such as codeine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, meperidine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, or tramadol) while you are taking Restoril.

Combing Restoril with these medications and substances increases your risk of developing life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, coma, or death.

Other drugs that can potentially cause negative interactions with Restoril include:

To avoid potentially serious drug interactions, it's important that you tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking. This includes any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, herbal supplements, vitamins, or alternative remedies.

Getting Help

If you need or want to stop taking Restoril, you need to taper off the drug gradually and under the guidance of your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking Restoril, you may experience symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Stomach and muscle cramps
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

Restoril is safe for most people who take it as prescribed. However, people who have a history of alcohol or substance use disorders might be at an increased risk for misuse or addiction when taking Restoril.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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Article Sources
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