Nitrazepam is a sleeping pill. It helps you sleep if you have problems sleeping (also known as insomnia).
This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions, as decided by your doctor.
Take Nitrazepam exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Do not take Nitrazepam for a longer period of time than instructed by your doctor. See your doctor if Nitrazepam does not seem to help you.
You may take Nitrazepam with or without food. Take it just before you go to bed.
If you are taking Nitrazepam over a certain period of time, do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise as stopping it suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as headache, restlessness, confusion, depression and anxiety. Your doctor will reduce the dose of Nitrazepam gradually before stopping it completely. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Nitrazepam is used to help you sleep. You may not need to take it everyday. Take it only when you need it.
If you miss a dose, take it at your next scheduled dose.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Alert your doctor if you have:
- breathing problems such as sleep apnoea or
- a muscle weakness disorder called myasthenia gravis
as Nitrazepam may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Nitrazepam if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with this medicine. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not give Nitrazepam to children, unless specifically instructed by the child's doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- history of drug abuse or alcoholism
- respiratory disease
- depression or history of depression
Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding.
Take Nitrazepam only when you need to. Try not to make a habit of relying on this medicine to help you sleep.
Practise good sleeping habits to reduce reliance on sleeping pills. These are some good sleeping habits which you should follow:
- Try to relax before bedtime. Do not engage in strenuous activities.
- Try to go to bed at about the same time every night.
- Have a light dinner. A heavy dinner may disturb your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening. Caffeine-containing food and drink include coffee, tea, certain soft drinks and even chocolate.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and airy.
- Avoid taking naps especially in the late afternoon.
Nitrazepam may cause drowsiness, dizziness and blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: some memory loss, headache, nausea, muscle weakness, numbed emotions, double vision.
Nitrazepam may cause aggressiveness, hyperactivity, hallucination, restlessness and confusion in some people. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of these symptoms.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. olanzapine, clozapine
- medicine for moderate to severe pain e.g. fentanyl
- medicine for lung infection known as tuberculosis e.g. rifampicin
- gout medicine e.g. probenecid
- medicines for cold and allergy e.g. antihistamines
- medicine for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbital
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Nitrazepam.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.