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    Information about Nitrazepam

    Nitrazepam uses

    Nitrazepam is used in the treatment of insomnia.

    How nitrazepam works

    Nitrazepam is a benzodiazepine. It works by increasing the action of a chemical messenger (GABA) which suppresses the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells in the brain.

    Common side effects of nitrazepam

    Dizziness, Sedation, Drowsiness, Unsteadiness, Coordination impaired
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Varun Gupta
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    27 Dec 2019 | 01:08 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Nitrazepam

    • ₹37 to ₹50
      Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹50 to ₹85
      Anglo-French Drugs & Industries Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹31 to ₹42
      Talent India
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹24
      Tripada Healthcare Pvt Ltd
      1 variant(s)
    • ₹32 to ₹40
      Icon Life Sciences
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹31 to ₹50
      Mova Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd
      3 variant(s)
    • ₹12 to ₹21
      Shine Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      3 variant(s)
    • ₹20 to ₹29
      La Pharmaceuticals
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹24 to ₹42
      A N Pharmacia
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹28 to ₹96
      Dial Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
      2 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Nitrazepam

    • If you are taking Nitrazepam for the treatment of insomnia, it should not be used for more than 4 weeks.
    • Take it 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime and only when you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
    • The addiction / habit-forming potential of this medicine is very high. Take it only as per the dose and duration advised by your doctor
    • It may cause dizziness. Do not drive or do anything that requires mental focus until you know how this medicine affects you.
    • Avoid consuming alcohol as it may increase dizziness and drowsiness.
    • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding.
    • If you have been taking this medicine for a long time, regular monitoring of blood and liver functions may be required.
    • Inform your doctor if you notice a rash or other skin changes such as reddish spots or circular patches while taking this medicine.
    • Do not stop taking medication suddenly without talking to your doctor as that may lead to nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, sweating, tremor, and confusion.

    Frequently asked questions for Nitrazepam


    Q. Does Nitrazepam get you high?

    Yes, Nitrazepam can get you high especially when more than the recommended dose is used for a long period of time. Patients with a history of alcoholism, drug abuse and personality disorders should be closely monitored since these patients may intentionally take more than the recommended doses of Nitrazepam to get “high”.

    Q. How quickly does Nitrazepam work?

    Nitrazepam works quickly. It takes 30 to 60 minutes to induce sleep following which the person may remain asleep for 6 to 8 hours. Therefore, it should be taken just before going to bed.

    Q. Does Nitrazepam help you sleep?

    Yes, Nitrazepam is in fact used for short-term treatment of insomnia (trouble falling asleep). It shortens the time taken to fall asleep and lengthens the duration of sleep. It helps you to sleep but does not cure the underlying cause of your insomnia, which you should discuss with your doctor.

    Q. What is Nitrazepam? How does it make you feel?

    Nitrazepam belongs to the benzodiazepine class of medicines. These medicines are known as tranquillizers, which means they have a calming effect and make you feel relaxed. However, its prolonged use may cause some side effects like excessive drowsiness, reduced alertness, confusion, tiredness, etc.

    Q. What are the symptoms of an overdose of Nitrazepam?

    Taking high doses of Nitrazepam may cause mild or serious side effects. The mild symptoms of an overdose of Nitrazepam include drowsiness, mental confusion and tiredness. In more serious cases, you may develop inability to move, loss of muscle tone, fall in blood pressure, breathing difficulties, coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time) and very rarely death.

    Q. Why has my doctor prescribed Nitrazepam for a short duration? Can I take it longer than that?

    Treatment with Nitrazepam should be as short as possible. Generally, including the gradual reduction of dose (tapering process), the duration of treatment varies from a few days to two weeks and can extend up to a maximum of four weeks. Higher doses of this medicine are not at all recommended. If you take the medicine for longer than the prescribed duration of time, you may develop physical and psychological dependence and tolerance (higher dose required to have the same effect).

    Q. Can I stop taking Nitrazepam?

    Do not stop taking Nitrazepam before consulting your doctor. Stopping the treatment suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms which include a recurrence of sleep problems, depression, nervousness, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, and confusion. The withdrawal symptoms may also include mood changes, irritability, sweating, diarrhea, headache, and muscle weakness.

    Q. Is Nitrazepam safe for old people?

    Nitrazepam should be used with care in elderly people. Usually, the dose advised for aged people is half of what is normally advised. This means that the dose should be restricted to 2.5 or 5 mg. Since Nitrazepam relaxes the muscles, elderly patients should take extra care when they get up at night as there is a risk of falls and consequently of injuries including hip fractures.

    Content on this page was last updated on 27 December, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)