How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Flurazepam belongs to the class of medications called benzodiazepines. It is used to treat short-term sleep problems associated with difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, or early awakenings.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each orange-ivory capsule, imprinted "APO 15", contains flurazepam 15 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, lactose, stearic acid, and talc; capsule shell: D&C Yellow No. 10, black ink (black iron oxide; may contain pharmaceutical glaze, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, n-butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, SDA-3A alcohol, pharmaceutical shellac, ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, ammonium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide), FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 6, gelatin, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide.
Each red-ivory capsule, imprinted "APO 30", contains flurazepam 30 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, lactose, stearic acid, and talc; capsule shell: D&C Yellow No. 10, black ink (black iron oxide; may contain pharmaceutical glaze, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, n-butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, SDA-3A alcohol, pharmaceutical shellac, ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, ammonium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide), FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Yellow No. 6, FD&C Red No. 40, gelatin, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of flurazepam ranges from 15 mg to 30 mg taken before bedtime. Treatment should not exceed 7 to 10 consecutive days unless otherwise directed by your doctor. The recommended starting dose for seniors is 15 mg. If taken on a regular basis for extended periods of time, this medication may become habit-forming (i.e., causing mental or physical dependence).
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones above, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not exceed the dose prescribed by your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to flurazepam or any ingredients of this medication
- are allergic to other benzodiazepines
- have a severe reduction in liver function
- have myasthenia gravis
- have sleep apnea or other conditions that cause breathing impairment
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Confusion: Flurazepam affects mental efficiency, e.g., concentration, attention, and vigilance. The risk of confusion is greater for seniors and for people with brain injury.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: You should be cautious when engaging in activities that require complete mental alertness such as driving or operating machinery. Effects of the medication may remain during the morning hours.
Medical conditions: If you have depression or psychosis, flurazepam is not recommended as this medication may affect your medical condition. If you havea history of substance or alcohol abuse, discuss the use of benzodiazepines such as flurazepam with your doctor.
Memory disturbance: Amnesia of varying severity has been reported following normal doses this medication. Elderly patients are at particular risk.
Withdrawal: Flurazepam can become habit-forming. Withdrawal symptoms similar to those occurring with other benzodiazepines as well as alcohol have been observed after stopping flurazepam suddenly after having taken it regularly over a period of time. These symptoms include:
- abdominal cramps
- extreme anxiety
- memory impairment
- muscle pain
- sleep problems
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: The safety of using flurazepam while breast-feeding has not been established. Therefore, it should not be taken by nursing mothers.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of flurazepam for those younger than 15 years of age have not been established.
Seniors: Seniors should use the smallest possible effective dose of this medication. Inappropriate, heavy sedation may result in accidents and falls for seniors.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between flurazepam and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.