When someone is prescribed Restoril, they are warned about the potential for tolerance and dependence. Restoril is a brand-name drug, available under the generic name temazepam. Restoril is a benzodiazepine, which creates a calming effect on the brain. It is a short-term insomnia treatment and also has anti-anxiety and muscle relaxant properties. There are an estimated 60 million people with sleep disorders in the U.S. Of those people, nearly 19 million Americans use prescription sedatives such as Restoril. Restoril is habit-forming as well as having the potential to lead to dependence.
Substance dependence is a scenario where someone is physically dependent on the presence of a drug. Restoril increases the effects of GABA and, in doing so, can make changes in the brain. For example, after repeated exposure, the brain of someone who is actively using Restoril may not be able to make enough GABA on its own. The brain has become dependent on the Restoril to do that for it. As your brain and central nervous system functionality change, if you were to take Restoril away suddenly, there would be a sense of shock. That shock can cause withdrawal symptoms.
One of the signs of Restoril dependence can be developing a tolerance. Temazepam can lead to tolerance development quickly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that hypnotics lose their ability to induce sleep after anywhere from three to 14 days. This means a patient will need higher doses to get the same effects. With temazepam, in particular, tolerance can occur after only a week of regular use. When someone develops a tolerance, they also are likely to become physically and psychologically dependent. Physical dependence is characterized not only by tolerance but also the withdrawal symptoms. Even at low, therapeutic doses, it’s possible to become dependent on a benzo like Restoril. The higher the dose and the longer someone uses a medication like Restoril, the higher the risk of dependence.
Withdrawal can include acute withdrawal syndrome and protracted withdrawal syndrome. Acute withdrawal is when the most apparent and severe symptoms usually occur. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a time when there is a low level of symptoms that continue for an extended period. Benzodiazepines like Restoril are most likely to lead to protracted or ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Dependence can cause physical and psychological symptoms, although it’s different from addiction.
Common during Restoril withdrawal are rebound symptoms. Rebound symptoms are the reoccurrence of the symptoms the drug was used to treat initially. Rebound symptoms are typically more severe than they were before the medication was used. With Restoril, an example would be insomnia. Someone experiencing Restoril withdrawal is likely to have more severe insomnia than they did before using the medication. Other possible signs of Restoril withdrawal can include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Panic attacks
- Aches and pains
Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be very severe in some cases. For example, severe symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal can include tremors, convulsions, seizures, severe depression and suicidal thoughts or tendencies. The withdrawal timeline for Restoril can vary depending on the individual, how heavily they used the drug and how long they’d been using it. Whether or not they have co-occurring mental health disorders or addictions can also affect the withdrawal timeline for Restoril. Longer-term withdrawal effects of Restoril that can persist for months include depression, insomnia and anxiety.
When someone wants to recover from Restoril addiction, they first have to go through detox. During detox, the body eliminates all substances. Then, a person can begin actual addiction treatment substance-free. With Restoril detox, the best option is almost always professional treatment. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be severe or even deadly. During Restoril detox, a tapering schedule may be followed to mitigate symptoms. There are also medications and holistic therapies that can be applied to increase comfort and safety. Successful Restoril detox is essential for addiction treatment to begin. During Restoril detox, mental health conditions can start being appropriately treated as well, which is helpful as someone moves into treatment.
The Recovery Village offers varying detox programs and addiction treatment. Contact us for information and answers that can pave the way for recovery.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.