Temazepam is a benzodiazepine used for severe insomnia and debilitating sleep disorders. Temazepam works by increasing the affinity of gamma-aminobutyric acid for GABA receptors by binding to the benzodiazepine receptors. This results in skeletal muscle relaxation, sedation, ataxia, motor impairment and anxiolysis. The binding of the the GABA neurotransmitter then opens the Ca channel, causing the cell membrane to become hyperpolarised.

Temazepam dispensing is heavily regulated and varies from country to country. Overdosing on temazepam can cause increasing central nervous system effects such as respiratory depression, difficulty staying awake, hypotension, mental confusion, coma and death.

As with most benzodiazepines, physical dependence and addiction can occur and so ceasing of taking the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms similar to alcohol/barbiturate withdrawal.