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All about: Estazolam

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Generic name: Estazolam
Brand names: ProSom

Why is Estazolam prescribed?

ProSom, a sleeping pill, is given for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Insomnia may involve difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night, or too-early morning awakening.

Most important fact about Estazolam

As a chemical cousin of Valium and similar tranquilizers, ProSom is potentially addictive; thus, you should plan on taking Estazolam only as a temporary sleeping aid. Even after relatively short-term use of ProSom, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the medication.

How should you take Estazolam?

Take ProSom exactly as prescribed by your doctor. A typical schedule is 1 tablet at bedtime. For small, physically run-down, or older people, one-half a tablet may be a safer starting dose.

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking ProSom.

If you have ever had seizures, do not abruptly stop taking ProSom, even if you are taking antiseizure medication. Instead, taper off from ProSom under your doctor's supervision.

Even if you have never had seizures, it is better to taper off from ProSom than to stop taking the medication abruptly. Experience suggests that tapering off can help prevent drug withdrawal symptoms.

Typically, the only withdrawal symptoms caused by ProSom are mild and temporary insomnia or irritability. Occasionally, however, withdrawal can involve considerable discomfort or even danger, with symptoms such as abdominal and muscle cramps, convulsions, sweating, tremors, and vomiting.

--If you miss a dose...

Take at bedtime only as needed. It is not necessary to make up a missed dose.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking ProSom.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abnormal coordination, constipation, decreased movement or activity, dizziness, dry mouth, general feeling of illness, hangover, headache, leg and foot pain, memory problems, nausea, nervousness, sleepiness, weakness

Why should Estazolam not be prescribed?

Do not take ProSom if you are sensitive or allergic to it, or if you have ever had an adverse reaction to another Valium-type medication.

Do not take ProSom if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Drugs in this class may cause damage to the unborn child.

Special warnings about Estazolam

Since ProSom may cloud your thinking, impair your judgment, or interfere with your normal physical coordination, do not drive, climb, or perform hazardous tasks until you know your reaction to Estazolam. It is important to remember that the tablet you took in the evening may continue to affect you well into the following day.

If you are older or physically run-down, or if you have liver or kidney damage or breathing problems, you will be particularly vulnerable to side effects from ProSom, and you should use Estazolam with special caution.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Estazolam

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking ProSom; this combination could make you comatose or dangerously slow your breathing.

For the same reason, do not combine ProSom with any other medication that might calm or slow the functioning of your central nervous system. Among such drugs are:

Antiseizure drugs such as Dilantin, Tegretol, and Depakene
Antihistamines such as Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton
Major tranquilizers such as Haldol and Mellaril
Barbiturates such as phenobarbital
MAO inhibitors such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate
Narcotics such as Percodan and Tylox
Tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax

If you smoke, you will tend to process and eliminate ProSom fairly quickly compared with a nonsmoker.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, you must not take ProSom; it could cause birth defects in your child.

When a pregnant woman takes ProSom or a similar medication shortly before giving birth, her baby is likely to have poor muscle tone (flaccidity) and/or experience drug withdrawal symptoms.

Because ProSom is thought to pass into breast milk, you should not take Estazolam while breastfeeding.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The recommended initial dose is 1 milligram at bedtime; however, some people may need a 2-milligram dose.

CHILDREN

There is no information on the safety and effectiveness of ProSom in people under age 18.

OLDER ADULTS

The recommended usual dosage for older adults is 1 milligram. However, some people may require only 0.5 milligram.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of a ProSom overdose may include:
    Confusion, depressed breathing, drowsiness and eventually coma, lack of coordination, slurred speech

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