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Updated 11 February 2013

Loprazolam

Loprazolam is a sedative hypnotic benzodiazepine medication and is indicated for the treatment of short term insomnia. It should be administered immediately before bedtime.

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Loprazolam is the active ingredient of Dormonoct.

General Information

Loprazolam is a sedative hypnotic benzodiazepine medication and is indicated for the treatment of short term insomnia. It should be administered immediately before bedtime.

Note that loprazolam remains active in the body for many hours and drowsiness may occur the next day.

This benzodiazepine should in most case not be used for longer than 2-4 weeks, as tolerance and physical and psychological dependence can occur. Loprazolam 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 loprazolam

.

How does loprazolam work?

Loprazolam 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. Loprazolam and other benzodiazepines enhance the effect of GABA, thus slowing down the transmission of nerve signals.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 5

Available as: Loprazolam is available as tablets.

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

Overdose risk: High

Dependence risk: High

Is loprazolam available as a generic? No

Is loprazolam available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: Within 30 minutes

Duration of action: Up to 12 hours

Dietary advice: Loprazolam may be taken with or without food

Stopping this medicine: Loprazolam should not be stopped abruptly. Sudden discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms. The dosage of loprazolam should be gradually reduced in accordance with 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 loprazolam for longer periods unless strictly instructed by your doctor.

Special precautions

Never exceed the prescribed dose of Loprazolam.

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You have a known hypersensitivity to benzodiazepines
  • 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 mental illness or depression.

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: Loprazolam'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

Drowsiness/confusion

x

x

Loss of coordination/dizziness

x

x

Slurred speech

x

x

Unsteady walk

x

x

Fever/chills

x

x

Extreme fatigue

x

x

Loss of memory

x

x

Rash/itching

x

x

Anger/behaviour changes

x

x

Yellow tinge: eyes/skin

x

x

Bruising/bleeding

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 loprazolam toxicity

Ketokonazole and other related antifungals

Increased possibility of loprazolam toxicity

Cimetidine

Increased possibility of loprazolam toxicity

Isoniazid

Increased possibility of loprazolam toxicity

Oral contraceptive

Increased possibility of loprazolam toxicity

Propranolol

Increased possibility of loprazolam toxicity

Valproic acid

Increased possibility of loprazolam toxicity

Isoniazid

Increased possibility of a loprazolam toxicity

Levodopa

Decreases levodopa's anti-Parkinson effect.

Probenecid

Increased possibility of loprazolam toxicity

Rifampicin

May decrease the effect of loprazolam.

Theophylline

May counteract the sedative effects of loprazolam.

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; also if you suffer from mental illness, depression or sleep apnoea.

Overdose action

An overdose of loprazolam 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

1-2 mg/day at bedtime. Use strictly as prescribed by your doctor

 
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