advertisement
Updated 11 February 2013

Flurazepam

Flurazepam is a powerful hypnotic medication prescribed for the short-term treatment of Insomnia.

0

Flurazepam is the active ingredient of Dalmadorm.

General Information

Flurazepam is a powerful hypnotic medication prescribed for the short-term treatment of Insomnia.

This benzodiazepine should in most case not be used for longer than 2 - 4 weeks as tolerance and physical and psychological dependence can occur. Flurazepam shares with other benzodiazepines the risk of abuse, misuse, psychological and/or physical dependence.

If prescribed for longer than 4 weeks your doctor should periodically reassess the need for flurazepam.

How does flurazepam work?

Flurazepam has an effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is the brain's quieting or tranquilising neurotransmitter possessing and inhibitive effect on the transmission of nerve signals. Flurazepam and other benzodiazepines enhances the effect of GABA, thus slowing down the transmission of nerve signals.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 5

Available as: Flurazepam is available as capsules

What does it do? Flurazepam has an anti-insomnia effect.

Overdose risk: High

Dependence risk: High

Is flurazepam available as a generic? No

Is flurazepam available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: Within 1 hour

Duration of action: Up to 12 hours

Dietary advice: Flurazepam may be taken with or without food.

Stopping this medicine: Flurazepam should not be stopped abruptly. Sudden discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms. The dosage of flurazepam should be gradually reduced according to the advice of your doctor.

Prolonged use: Short-term therapy is advised, treatment should generally be no longer than 4 - 6 weeks, including a tapering off process. Tolerance has been noted with long term use. Do not take flurazepam for longer periods unless expressly instructed by your doctor.

Special precautions

Never exceed the prescribed dose of flurazepam.

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You have a known hypersensitivity to benzodiazepines
  • You have acute closed-angle glaucoma
  • You have myasthenia gravis.
  • You have liver or kidney disease.
  • You have a history of alcohol or substance abuse
  • You have a chronic lung disease
  • You suffer from epilepsy
  • You have a mental illness or suffer from depression
  • You suffer from sleep apnoea.

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not intended for use in children.

Elderly: Use with caution as side effects may be emphasised. Dosage may need adjustment.

Driving and hazardous work: This medication should be avoided as it may cause extreme sedation.

Alcohol: Flurazepam's effect may intensify the effect of alcohol and vice versa. Do not consume alcohol while taking this medication, as side effects may be drastically pronounced.

Possible side effects:

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Extreme Drowsiness

x

x

Loss of coordination/dizziness

x

x

Slurred speech

x

x

Diarrhoea/nausea

x

x

Change in libido

x

x

Fever/chills

x

x

Extreme fatigue

x

x

Visual disturbance

x

x

Nausea/vomiting

x

x

Rash/itching

x

x

Anger/behaviour changes

x

x

Impaired memory

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

Alcohol, antihistamines, antidepressants, other benzodiazepines, narcotics

Increased depression of central nervous system (CNS)

Digoxin

Increased possibility of digoxin toxicity

Disulfiram

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Ketokonazole and other related antifungals

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Cimetidine

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Isoniazid

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Oral contraceptive

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Propranolol

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Valproic acid

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Isoniazid

Increased possibility of a flurazepam toxicity

Levodopa

Decreases levodopa's anti-Parkinson effect.

Probenecid

Increased possibility of flurazepam toxicity

Rifampicin

May decrease the effect of flurazepam.

Theophylline

May counteract the sedative effects of flurazepam.

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have acute closed-angle glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, liver or kidney disease, a chronic lung disease, epilepsy, mental illness, or suffer from depression or sleep apnoea.

Overdose action

An overdose of flurazepam can be serious. Seek immediate emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include poor coordination, slow breathing, tremors, drowsiness, slurred speech, confusion, slow reflexes and loss of consciousness.

Recommended dosage

15-60 mg 1 hour before bedtime

 
More in Medical
Tretinoin
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Yoga »

Exercise time? Yoga mats matter Yoga and sleep

What yoga can do for you

Yoga is a stress-buster, but it also helps with anxiety, depression, insomnia, back pain and other ills.

Allergy alert »

Allergy myths Cold or allergy? Children and allergies

Allergy facts vs. fiction

Some of the greatest allergy myths and misconceptions can actually be damaging to your health.