Nitrazepam - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Nitrazepam is used to help manage sleep in individuals who have difficulty falling or staying asleep (also known as insomnia).
How do I take this medicine?
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.

You may take this medicine with or without food, just before going to bed. Take it only when you can stay in bed for a full night (at least 7-8 hours).

Nitrazepam is available as a tablet or as an oral suspension.

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water.

If you are taking an oral suspension, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.

The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your response to the medication.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Nitrazepam is used to help you sleep. You may not need to take Nitrazepam every night. Take it only when you need it.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • lung problems
  • sleep apnoea (sleep disorder that causes interrupted breathing during sleep)
  • myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder)
  • porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
  • mental conditions e.g. long-term mood disorders, irrational or disabling fears, obsessive states
  • increased pressure in the eye
  • severe liver disease
as Nitrazepam may not be suitable for you.

Do not give this medicine to children unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • history of personality problems
  • depression
  • long-term lung disease
  • low level of a certain protein known as albumin in the blood
  • kidney disease
  • mild to moderate liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Nitrazepam to the elderly or debilitated patient (physically or mentally weak, usually due to illness or old age). Elderly people and debilitated patients may be more sensitive to the side effects.

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 drinks 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.
What side effects could I experience?
Nitrazepam may cause drowsiness, dizziness and impaired concentration. 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, double vision, nausea, stomach upset, muscle weakness, feeling excited or restless, slurred speech, and tiredness.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • memory loss
  • unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, confused, agitated, aggressive or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
  • unusual sleep behaviours that may not be remembered the next morning e.g. sleep-walking, sleep-driving, making phone calls, preparing or eating food
  • excessive salivation or drooling
  • rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, mouth or throat
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine
  • rifampicin (medicine to treat TB, an infection known as tuberculosis)
  • strong pain killers e.g. fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone
  • medicines for cold and allergy
  • cimetidine (medicine that reduces stomach acid production)
  • medicines for high blood pressure e.g. lofexidine, moxonidine
  • muscle relaxants e.g. baclofen, tizanidine
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 medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light and moisture.

Do not freeze the oral suspension.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on nitrazepam - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2023 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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