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.
Behaviour changes: This medication may cause changes in behavior. If you experience aggressiveness and extroversion, confusion, restlessness, or hallucinations, or notice these changes in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor.
Complex sleep behaviour: There have been reports of people sleepwalking and performing more complex activities after having taken flurazepam, but not being aware of what they were doing. People have been reported as driving, leaving the house, making and eating food, and not remembering doing so the next morning.
Performing these activities puts yourself and others at risk. If you are made aware of these sleep-behaviours, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
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.
Depression: Flurazepam, like other benzodiazepines, has been known to cause mood swings and symptoms of depression. If you have depression or a history of depression, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms of depression such as poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: This medication may affect the mental or physical abilities needed to drive or operate machinery. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Memory disturbance: Medications such as flurazepam can cause memory loss (amnesia). Amnesia of varying severity has been reported following normal doses of this medication. Elderly patients are at particular risk.
Substance abuse: People with a history of substance or alcohol abuse may be more likely to become dependent on flurazepam. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the risks of using this medication if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
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 have not been established for children younger than 15 years of age.
Seniors: Seniors should use the smallest possible effective dose of this medication. Inappropriate, heavy sedation may result in accidents and falls for seniors.