Temazepam vs. Alprazolam

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson is going to compare two medications called temazepam and alprazolam. You'll learn about their drug class, the differences among their adverse reactions and much more.

Temazepam vs. Alprazolam

What do you think a name like Restoril implies? Maybe you see it as ''restor''ing something. Perhaps it's the name of a chemical that restores old wood furniture to its brilliant best. Or maybe you see the ''rest'' in Restoril instead and see it as some sort of product that helps a person relax. And if that's the case, then you're right! Let's find out why as we compare two medications called temazepam and alprazolam.

Brand Names & Drug Category

These two medications are better known by other names. Temazepam is the generic term for a brand name medication called Restoril while alprazolam is the generic name for a far more famous trade name, that of Xanax.

Despite their different generic and brand names, both medications are classified as benzodiazepines, which are medications that work to force our neurons (nerve cells) into a less excitable state. They're basically chill pills for our neurons.

Uses & Forms

But they're not used for the same purpose. See, alprazolam is indicated to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder. On the other hand, temazepam is used to help treat insomnia, the inability to fall and/or stay asleep. So, Restoril helps us 'rest' by helping us sleep.

Alprazolam comes in various different forms. Most commonly, it comes as an oral liquid, as a regular tablet, a disintegrating tablet, and a 24 hour extended release tablet. Temazepam is most commonly found in capsule form (in the U.S.)


Precautions & Adverse Reactions

Alprazolam and temazepam should be used with extreme caution alongside medications of the opioid class. Using benzodiazepines and opioids together might lead to life-threatening respiratory depression, coma, and even death.

Neither drug should be used if the person has a known hypersensitivity (allergy) to the drug or another compound in the preparation. Both drugs should be used with caution, or not at all if the person is allergic to any other benzodiazepine.

People taking CYP3A4 (enzyme) inhibitors, such as ketoconazole or itraconazole, should not take alprazolam. Alprazolam shouldn't be given to people with acute narrow-angle glaucoma either. This is a condition where there is a sudden increase in the pressure inside the eyeball. Finally, people with acute alcohol intoxication shouldn't take temazepam.

Since both of these drugs are of the same class, they definitely have similar possible side effects. But some differences of note include the following:

  • Alprazolam has upwards of a 77% chance of causing drowsiness while temazepam has around a 9% chance of causing drowsiness.
  • Alprazolam can cause dizziness up to 30% of the time but temazepam has only around a 5% chance of doing so.
  • Temazepam may lead to a hangover-like effect around 3% of the time but alprazolam only has a less than 1% chance of doing so.

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