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Estazolam is currently only indicated for use in patients with insomnia, either due to environmental factors or psychiatric factors, such as anxiety. It works by increasing the association of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA with its receptor, thereby reducing the overall level of excitability in the brain. Its use is limited to short-term treatment to reduce the potential of the patient becoming dependent. However, estazolam also has other properties to help it function in its role in insomnia, such as anticonvulsant, skeletal muscle relaxant and anxiolytic properties. Its role may, therefore, not be limited to the uses defined here, as specified by your healthcare provider.
The dosage mentioned here for Estazolam is not fixed. This is because the patient may have additional clinical criteria which must be taken into account. Factors such as age, existing disease, and co-medication play a role in determining the dose prescribed. However, the doses listed below do reflect the typical dosage regimen in patients all else being equal.
- Adult Dose: 1 mg to be taken orally before bedtime. This dose may increase to a maximum dose of 2mg per night.
- Geriatric Dose: 1 mg to be taken orally before bedtime. Patients may begin with 0.5mg before advancing to 1 mg.
- There is no dose available for paediatric patients.
Estazolam Side Effects
One of the major problems with side-effects for drugs such as Estazolam is the hang-over effect. This is the situation where the patient feels fatigued throughout the day. This can become particularly hazardous for those who may need to drive or operate machinery the next day. Therefore, patients will be advised accordingly. Patients are also advised to avoid alcohol as this has the ability to exacerbate the existing side-effect profile, some of which are listed below. Common side-effects with estazolam include:
- Lack of bodily movement
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following:
- Difficulty breathing
Note that as a drug used in the treatment of insomnia, you are advised not to consume alcohol while taking Estazolam. Alcohol is a depressant drug that serves to worsen the side-effect profile, potentially leading to respiratory depression. As well as this, the side-effect profile may be higher in obese patients, as the drug distributes itself more around the available fat content. These factors will be considered by your prescriber. Estazolam interacts with the following medication: