Flunitrazepam is a sleeping pill. It helps you to sleep if you have problems sleeping (also known as insomnia).
Take Flunitrazepam 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.
You may take Flunitrazepam with or without food. If you are taking it as a sleeping pill, take it just before you go to bed.
It is not advisable to take this medicine long-term. See your doctor if Flunitrazepam does not seem to help you.
If you are taking Flunitrazepam over a certain period of time, do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition. Your doctor may want to reduce the dose of Flunitrazepam gradually before stopping it completely. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- breathing problems e.g. sleep apnoea (shallow breathing during sleep)
- severe liver disease
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
as Flunitrazepam may not be suitable for you.
Do not breastfeed while being treated with Flunitrazepam.
Do not give Flunitrazepam to children, unless instructed to do so by the child's doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- other mental disorders e.g. depression, psychosis, schizophrenia
- kidney disease
- epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- glaucoma (an increased pressure in the eye)
- low blood pressure
- history of drug or alcohol dependence
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 chocolate.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and airy.
- Avoid taking naps especially in the late afternoon.
Flunitrazepam may cause drowsiness and dizziness. 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: headache, difficulty remembering, tiredness, stomach discomfort, dry mouth, tremors, and difficulty in controlling movements such as unsteadiness in walking.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- aggressiveness, restlessness and nervousness
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
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:
- other medicines for sleep disorder e.g zolpidem , eszopiclone, flurazepam
- medicines for anxiety e.g. diazepam, lorazepam
- medicines for moderate to severe pain e.g. codeine, hydrocodone, morphine
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbital
- stomach medicines e.g. cisapride, cimetidine
- disulfiram (medicine used to treat alcohol dependence)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Flunitrazepam.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, 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.