Lormetazepam will help you to sleep. You will be prescribed a short course of treatment only.The effects of lormetazepam can last into the following day; it can affect your reactions and your ability to drive. Do not drive or use tools or machines while affected.
|Type of medicine||A benzodiazepine|
|Used for||Insomnia in adults|
Poor sleep (insomnia) is fairly common but does not usually last for long. If you have problems sleeping, it may mean that you have difficulty getting off to sleep, or you may wake up for long periods during the night, or you may wake up too early in the morning. 'Sleeping tablets' are considered a last resort, but are sometimes prescribed for a short period of time to help with a particularly bad spell of insomnia.
Lormetazepam works by affecting the way certain brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) transmit messages. This has a calming effect and helps you to sleep. It works well in the short term, but lormetazepam is not normally advised for more than 1-3 weeks. If you take it for longer, the medicine may lose its effect (you may become tolerant to the effect) and you may also become dependent on it (addicted to it).
Before taking lormetazepam
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking lormetazepam it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have any breathing problems.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have a mental health problem. This includes conditions such as psychosis, depression, obsessive conditions, phobias and personality disorders.
- If you have ever had a drug or alcohol addiction.
- If you have a condition causing severe muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
- If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take lormetazepam
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about lormetazepam, and will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
- Your doctor may recommend that you take one tablet each evening for a few days, or only on certain days of the week. Take lormetazepam exactly as your doctor tells you to. Take the tablet just before you go to bed.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep any appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check how you are feeling.
- The effects of lormetazepam can last into the following day; please be aware that it is likely to affect your reactions and your ability to drive. It is an offence to drive while your reactions are impaired, so do not drive until you know how you react, especially when you first start treatment. Even if your driving ability is not impaired, should you drive, you are advised to carry with you some evidence that the medicine has been prescribed for you - a repeat prescription form or a patient information leaflet from the pack is generally considered suitable.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are on lormetazepam. It will increase the risk of sedative side-effects.
- If you are due to have an operation or any dental treatment, please tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking a benzodiazepine. This is because lormetazepam increases the effects of some anaesthetics.
- Your doctor is likely to recommend that you reduce your dose gradually when it is time to stop taking it. This is to reduce the risk of you experiencing withdrawal effects. Follow carefully any instructions your doctor gives to you.
Can lormetazepam cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with lormetazepam. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common lormetazepam side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sleepy or light-headed during the day||Do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol|
|Feeling unsteady or weak||If troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store lormetazepam
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 71st Edition (Mar-Sep 2016) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr John Cox