Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs with sedative or depressant properties. These drugs depress the central nervous system by increasing the effects of GABA. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter. Benzodiazepines are prescribed for a variety of conditions. For example, they can treat insomnia, act as muscle relaxants and help with seizure disorders. They’re also used for anxiety and panic conditions. Restoril (temazepam) is a prescription benzo used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Restoril, like other benzos, can be addictive despite its therapeutic benefits.
People tend to wonder how long benzodiazepines stay in their system for different reasons. For example, they might wonder because they have to take a drug test. Restoril can cause effects the day after its use that are similar to a hangover, which is another reason to question how long it stays in your system. Certain substances such as opioids can increase the chances of a fatal overdose when combined with Restoril, so people using it may wonder when it’s safe to take these drugs. For physically dependent patients, they may wonder when Restoril withdrawal symptoms could begin as the drug leaves the system.
In general, benzodiazepines are divided into categories based on whether they’re short or long-acting. With short-acting benzos, effects usually begin 10 to 15 minutes after a dose is taken, and they last for up to six hours. Some ultra-short-acting benzos may have effects shorter than five hours. Intermediate-acting benzos can have half-lives of up to 24 hours, while long-acting benzos will have half-lives of more than 24 hours. Some can have half-lives of 70 to 100 hours.
Benzodiazepines are usually part of standard drug testing panels. Benzos can stay in urine for around 30 days, and for people who have been using it for a long time, they can be detected for anywhere from four to six weeks after the last dosage. With short-acting benzos, the addiction level tends to be higher because they start affecting the patient faster. With longer-acting benzos, the addiction risk is lower, but they do accumulate in the system.
While benzos display a lot of variance in how long they stay in the system, what about Restoril specifically? Restoril is classified as a short-to-intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. Restoril has a short onset of action. It starts working within about 10 to 20 minutes and reaches peak concentrations in the blood in around 1.5 hours. The half-life is on average 10 hours. This means it takes about 10 hours for the average person to eliminate half the dose of Restoril they use. There are two phases to Restoril being metabolized, and Restoril isn’t known to accumulate in the system of the person using it. Restoril is metabolized by the liver and eliminated via urine. All of this means Restoril should leave the system within about a day, although it could show up in a drug test for longer.
Regardless of the short half-life of Restoril, it’s extremely important to use caution when taking other medications with Restoril, and in particular, opioids. Opioids and benzodiazepines come with a black box warning about combining them. Along with opioids, other drugs that can interact negatively with Restoril include antidepressants, antihistamines and other sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medications. Speak with your doctor about this before taking Restoril
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