Estazolam is a sleeping pill. It helps you to sleep if you have problems sleeping (also known as insomnia).
Take Estazolam 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 Estazolam 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 Estazolam long-term. See your doctor if Estazolam does not seem to help you.
If you have been taking Estazolam over a certain period of time, do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise as stopping it suddenly may worsen your condition. Your doctor will reduce the dose of Estazolam gradually before stopping it completely. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
If you miss a dose, take it at your next scheduled dose.
However, if you are taking Estazolam as a sleeping pill, you may not need to take it everyday. Take it only when you need it.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Do not take Estazolam if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Estazolam may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not take Estazolam with medicines for fungal infections such as ketoconazole, itraconazole.Please see section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following:
- history of alcohol and drug abuse
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- lung or breathing problems such as sleep apnea
- mental illnesses such as depression and thoughts of self-harm
For as long as you are taking Estazolam, your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
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.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and airy.
- Avoid taking naps especially in the late afternoon.
Estazolam may cause dizziness. It may also cause you to suddenly fall asleep during your daily activities such as eating and watching television. You may not feel drowsy before you fall asleep. 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, weakness, nervousness, slow body movement, abnormal coordination, and pain in the hip, thigh, leg, ankle or foot.
Let your doctor know if you experience confusion and unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being hyperactive or aggressive).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Estazolam with medicines for fungal infections such as ketoconazole, itraconazole.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines to treat epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin
- medicines to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, isoniazid
- medicines to treat depression e.g. nefazodone, fluvoxamine
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin
- stomach medicine e.g. cimetidine
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Estazolam.
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.
Avoid alcohol and grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.