Restoril is a prescription benzodiazepine that’s used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. Restoril is a brand name for a drug called temazepam that was first produced in 1964. However, the drug wasn’t widely used until 1981 when it was marketed as an insomnia medication. By the late 1980s, the drug’s popularity grew, and it went on to become one of the most commonly used sedative-hypnotics on the market.
Sedative-hypnotics are a group of psychoactive drugs that can facilitate rest and sleep. They also often decrease anxiety, energy levels, and alertness. Benzodiazepines like Restoril are also in a wide category of drugs called central nervous system depressants, which work to limit excitability in the nervous system.
Restoril, like other depressants, is GABAergic. This means it affects a chemical messenger in the body called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is responsible for regulating excitability in the nervous system. People with insomnia and other sleep disorders may have some biological or psychological problem that prevents their GABA from being enough to facilitate rest and sleep. Restoril can bind to GABA receptors and increase the chemical’s effectiveness.
Slowing down the nervous system helps Restoril achieve its desired effects. However, it also causes side effects, including dizziness, headache, lethargy, memory impairment, slower reaction time, loss of motor control, and muscle weakness. Benzodiazepines are also addictive when used for too long or in high doses. Prolonged use can cause the body to get used to the substance as one’s brain chemistry adapts around it.
If you stop using a benzo, it can cause uncomfortable and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Stopping abruptly after a long period of dependence is even more dangerous.
Once you develop a chemical dependence on Restoril, quitting the drug will mean going through withdrawal symptoms that range from unpleasant to life-threatening. The symptoms you experience depends on the severity of your dependency and whether or not you quit cold turkey or taper off it. Generally, the severest symptoms will happen to people who quit cold turkey and anyone who’s gone through depressant withdrawal before. Restoril causes nervous system depression, which your body gets used to when you develop a dependence. When you stop using it, it can cause overexcitability in the nervous system, which can cause general discomfort, anxiety, and shaking. Other symptoms can include:
The most dangerous symptoms are seizures and delirium tremens. Seizures can cause serious injuries, especially if you go through them while you are standing, moving around, or driving. Delirium tremens can cause excessive strain on your heart that leads to cardiac arrest, coma, and death. If you start to notice the symptoms of chemical dependency, it’s important to speak to a doctor before quitting cold turkey.
The withdrawal timeline that you experience may vary based on a few factors that involve your experience with the drug. For instance, the length of time you were dependent, the size of your typical dose, and the size of your last dose can impact your withdrawal timeline. Generally, long-lasting, frequent use of a high dose is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms to appear faster.
If you taper off the drug, the withdrawal period will last longer, but the symptoms may be less intense. Tapering can be a complicated process. It’s best to consult a doctor to help. Though your withdrawal timeline may be unique, if you quit cold turkey, your timeline may look something like this:
Depressants like Restoril are more likely to cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms when you quit cold turkey than other drugs. If you attempt to stop using the drug on your own, you may experience potentially deadly symptoms like delirium tremens and seizures. You may also develop dangerous symptoms if you’ve gone through depressant withdrawal before.
Medical detox is designed to treat severe withdrawal symptoms safely and effectively. It can also address other health conditions and complications that may be related or unrelated to addiction. Medical detox is the highest level of care in addiction treatment. Not everyone will need medical detox. However, people who are dependent on depressants are the most likely to need detox.
Once you finish detox, or if medical professionals determine that detox isn’t necessary, you may move to the next level of care that’s ideal for you. If you have high levels of medical or psychological needs, you may go through an inpatient or residential treatment program. If you can live at home, you may go through an intensive outpatient or standard outpatient treatment program. Through addiction treatment, your treatment plan will be tailored to you, and it should address multiple needs, including medical, psychological, and social issues.
Even if you think your substance use is under control, it’s possible that it’s more of a problem than you realize. If you have started taking more of a drug than you intended, if you need more to achieve the same effects, or if you’ve tried and failed to stop before, you might have a substance use disorder that needs to be addressed.
Addiction is a chronic disease that usually gets worse over time until it receives the proper attention. In many cases, addiction can take over your life, affecting your health, relationships, and money. Addiction treatment can help to avoid some of these severe consequences. To take your first steps toward lasting recovery from substance abuse, learn more about addiction treatment today.
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U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019, October 2). Delirium tremens: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000766.htm
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019, October 2). Generalized tonic-clonic seizure: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000695.htm