Nitrazepam Withdrawal and Detox

Nitrazepamis classified as a benzodiazepine. It is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, used for the management of myoclonic (epileptic) seizures and the treatment of sleeping problems such as early-morning awakening, difficulty falling asleep, and frequently waking up during the night.

The drug is sold under different brand names, each of which might not be approved for all the above conditions. It is typically prescribed for short-term use only, because it has the potential to cause dependence if used long-term.

Other names for nitrazepam

There are various trade names under which this medication is sold. They include Nitravet, Ormodon, Insomin, Mogadon, Nitrados, Alodorm, Insoma, Nitrazadon, Paxadorm, Remnos, Nitrosun, Epam, Apodorm, Arem and Somnite.

Different brand names may be available for treating certain conditions and not others. Similarly, some brands will be available in certain forms, but not others.

What is nitrazepam used for?

Nitrazepamis prescribed to treat distressing, disabling or severe sleeplessness. It is typically only used on a short-term basis,because it can lead to dependence and even addiction if taken over a prolonged period of time.

This medication might also be used to treat myoclonic seizures and other such problems affecting the nervous system. Like other benzodiazepines (or ‘benzos’), it works by causing the activity of the nerves in the brain to slow down, creating a calming effect.

Causes of nitrazepam addiction

When taking nitrazepam, you’re at risk of developing dependence, which can eventually become addiction. As you use this drug, it begins to lose its efficacy over time and you may be tempted to increase your dosage, which can lead to dependency.

If you become dependent on nitrazepam, there’s a high chance you’ll continue to use it for longer than prescribed or at higher doses in order to fend off withdrawal. Your chances of developing addiction are even higher if you have a history of substance abuse.

How addictive is nitrazepam?

Nitrazepam is very addictive. It can lead to dependence, addiction and withdrawal. It can cause addiction if you set out using it for recreational purposes, but you can also become addicted even if you are prescribed this medication.

While the drug works well for the problems it is intended to solve, it tends to lose its effectiveness over time. You may feel that ‘bumping up’ the dosage or frequency of use will help keep it as effective as when you first started using it, but that is always a mistake.

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Methods of nitrazepam usage

Nitrazepamis typically taken by mouth. The correct way to use it is precisely as directed by your doctor, without increasing your doses or using it more frequently than recommended.

If you’re using nitrazepamto treat insomnia, you should take a dose just before bedtime. Your doctor will likely prescribe the lowest effective dose. Generally, the recommended adult dose is 5mg-10mg, but seniors may start with 2.5mg, as older people tend to be more prone to unwanted side-effects.

What does it mean to be addicted to nitrazepam?

When you are addicted, it means your body has become so dependent on nitrazepamthat you cannot do without it, even when it’s clear that continued usage will only cause further hurt and damage.

Addiction is characterised by both physical and psychological dependence. This means it is not enough to just to undergo detox; you will also have to go through therapy and counselling as well in order to take care of the psychological and emotional aspects of addiction.

Spotting nitrazepam abuse

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be abusing nitrazepam, there are a number of signs to look out for. With regular doses, this medication will provide relief from insomnia and anxiety, and may cause you to feel dizzy or drowsy.

The effects of the drug may become more pronounced if it’s taken in significantly higher doses. There are other serious effects to look out for as well. Chronic drug abuse may result in nonspecific signs and changes in behaviour and appearance that affect work performance and relationships.

Nitrazepam abuse: Signs and symptoms

Some of the signs you may notice if you or your loved one have taken too much nitrazepam include difficulty breathing, slurred speech, weakness, blurred vision, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness and coma.

If you or your loved one are engaged in chronic abuse of nitrazepam, you may experience symptoms that mirror those for which you were prescribed this substance initially. Such symptoms may include weakness, headaches, anorexia, insomnia and anxiety.

Health risks from nitrazepam addiction

Addiction can result in significant physical and mental health issues if it’s allowed to fester. Over time, frequently using the medication can dull your cognitive abilities and make you more susceptible to accidents and falls, especially when mixed with other CNS depressants like alcohol.

If you are addicted and suddenly try to stop using nitrazepam, the withdrawal reactions you experience could be severe and may include more severe anxiety and insomnia, as well as seizures.

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Short-term effects of nitrazepam

Many of the effects of this medication are related directly to those it has on the central nervous system. When it reaches the brain, nitrazepam causes a number of changes, which become more pronounced over time.

Some of the short-term effects that you could experience include headaches, muscle weakness, slurred speech, fatigue, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, stimulation and excitement, as well as a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Long-term effects of nitrazepam

There are more serious effects which may develop after using the medication for a prolonged period of time. Research has discovered a link between Alzheimer’s and benzodiazepines, as well as some forms of cancer. While these are serious problems, there are other potential issues which can arise from long-term use of this medication.

Other possible effects include hallucinations, severe sedation, retrograde amnesia, impaired cognitive function, central nervous system depression, heart failure, coma, respiratory distress and even death.

Withdrawal effects of nitrazepam abuse

There are many possible effects of withdrawal that you could experience. There is no telling exactly which combination of symptoms will affect you, but they are likely to be a mix of physical and psychological.

Some include anxiety, abdominal pains, fear, tinnitus, suicidal thoughts, sweating, sensitivity to light and sound, persistent and unpleasant memories, short-term memory loss, severe headaches, paranoia, panic attacks, muscle spasms, insomnia, heart palpitations, flu-like symptoms, distended abdomen, diarrhoea and blurred vision.

Co-occurring disorders

A co-occurring disorder is a mental or physical condition that needs to be treated alongside your addiction. It could be caused by chronic drug use or mayhave already been present before you started using the medication.

While research is not clear on whether benzodiazepines have the potential to result in depression, it must be noted that these drugs are not used in isolation. If you also abuse alcohol and have poor social support (amongst other problems), using nitrazepam on a long-term basis may induce depression. Another potential co-occurring disorder is comorbid anxiety.

Who is at risk of nitrazepam addiction?

Anyone can be at risk of addiction if they abuse nitrazepamlong enough. Using the drug over a long period of time (about six months and above) can put you at risk of addiction. You may also have a higher chance of becoming addicted if you have a personal or family history of substance abuse. Although this alone is not often enough to lead to addiction, it can be a contributing factor if other influences come into play, such as environmental issues and your body’s chemistry, amongst others.

Teen nitrazepam abuse and addiction

Abuse and addiction are not restricted to adults alone, but can also affect teenagers, as they too may have need for a nitrazepamprescription. When they don’t have one, it’s not unusual for teens to obtain prescription medications for non-medical use.

Cost of nitrazepam addiction

Addiction can be costly – not only for you, but also your loved ones. Firstly, it can cost you financially, as you spend too much money buying nitrazepam to fuel your addiction. At first, it may seem like a small amount, but itwilladd up over time.

If you’re not careful, addiction can cost you your job if you’re consistently underperforming. It can also affect your relationships and cost you friendships. Your loved ones may suffer financially and emotionally, plus there is also the expense of rehab, which you will have to pay for in order to get better. It’s best to stop addiction in its tracks now,as the longer it festers, the costlier it gets.

Relationship between nitrazepamand other substances

It’s important to be careful what other substances you take whilst using nitrazepam. In particular, you must be careful with alcohol, muscle relaxants, alpha blockers, hypnotics, nabilone, anaesthetics, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants and painkillers, as taking these in combination with nitrazepam can result in over sedation.

Theophylline and caffeine may lessen the sedative effects of the drug, rifampicin can cause it to be removed more quickly from your body and substances like isoniazid, ritonavir, disulfiram, cimetidine and contraceptives that contain oestrogen can cause the nitrazepam to be removed from your system more slowly. To be on the safe side, always speak to your doctor before taking any new medication.

Nitrazepamoverdose explained

An overdose can occur as you attempt to increase your doses or frequency of usage. Due to the fact that nitrazepamtends to lose efficacy over time, it may seem like a good idea to increase your doses, but it’s easy to go overboard.

It’s even easier to overdose when you have become dependent or addicted and try to quit. You could experience cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that are too much to handle. Consequently, to get immediate relief, you might relapse and use the drug again. During withdrawal, your tolerance level is reduced and you’re more susceptible to overdosing, even with the same quantity of nitrazepamas before.

What to do if you need help quitting

If you’re ready to quit, but have been unable to in the past, it’s time you got professional help to put your addiction firmly behind you and live a drug-free life again.


Nitrazepamcan be highly effective for certain disorders, but you may easily develop tolerance to it, resulting in chronic abuse and dependence. This in turn can lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the drug.

It is possible to develop both physical and psychological dependence after only a few weeks of repeated or regular use. Being dependent means your body cannot function normally without nitrazepam. You can think of withdrawal as your body protesting to the removal of the substance.

Symptoms of withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms may be physical or psychological. Physical symptoms may include sweating, sore tongue and mouth, shaking, severe headaches, muscle spasms, loss of balance, heart palpitations, hair loss, distended abdomen, diarrhoea, achingand abdominal pains.

Psychological symptoms may include fear, suicidal thoughts, sensitivity to light and sound, short-term memory loss, persistent and unpleasant memories, paranoia, nightmares, insomnia, changes in perception and anxiety.

Duration of withdrawal

The length of the withdrawal period can differ depending on the severity of your addiction. There are a number of factors that can affect the duration of withdrawal, including how long you’ve been using the drug and the quantity of dosage, amongst others.

Your withdrawal may be as short as a few weeks or as long as several months. The onset of withdrawal is followed by a phase known as ‘acute withdrawal’, which could last about three weeks.

After acute withdrawal, you may experience post-acute withdrawal, during which you may have to deal with mostly psychological symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia. This phase of withdrawal can last several months or years.

Nitrazepam withdrawal timeline

You can expect symptoms to manifest within about four to seven days of quitting, asnitrazepam is a long-acting benzodiazepine. The onset of withdrawal (or early withdrawal) continues until acute withdrawal begins and peaks over a period of two to three weeks or more.

The most intense symptoms might subside sometime between weeks three and four. After that, you could experience protracted withdrawal, but this can be controlled using the tapering technique.

Nitrazepam addiction treatment

Rehab facilities and treatment centres provide the most comprehensive treatment for addiction. Such treatment usually begins with detox, which is the process by which all drug toxins are removed from your system.

After detox comes rehab proper, which comprises therapy and counselling. The aim of therapy is to tackle your addiction at its root and prepare you for lifelong abstinence. Other options for treatment include support groups, sober living homes and halfway houses, which often constitute aftercare.

Therapy for nitrazepam addiction

Rehabs offer various therapy types to provide you or your loved one with the best possible treatment. Group and individual therapyis available, as well as Dialectal Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

In addition, some rehab centres offer holistic programmes, other than the basic ones mentioned above. Such programmes include options like Tai Chi, 12-step therapy, auricular acupuncture, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, music therapy and so on. Different approaches can be combined to tailor a treatment plan that suits your individual needs.

Possible complications

You must never underestimate the dangers of withdrawal,as it can lead to fatal consequences if complications arise. One potential complication is suicidal thinking or behaviour, which can in turn lead to self-harm.

Another complication could be overdose, resulting from a relapse. It’s also possible to become dehydrated or inhale vomit into your lungs and develop a respiratory infection. These can all be controlled before they lead to serious consequences if you detox in a professional setting.

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When to contact a medical professional

If you’re unsure whether your loved one needs immediate medical care or suspect they may have overdosed, please go to a hospital accident and emergency department immediately. An overdose is considered a medical emergency and must be taken care of as soon as possible.

You should also contact a physician if you’ve started to detox on your own, but are unable to carry on any longer due to withdrawal symptoms. It’s best to reach out to a professional when you decide to quit, because stopping on your own can be dangerous.

Nitrazepam recovery plan

You can recover fully and achieve long-term abstinence when you get on the right treatment programme. A solid recovery plan should include detox, therapy and aftercare to help keep you on the right track.

The best recovery plan for you is one that is tailored specifically to your needs in terms of the nature of your addiction and any additional health concerns you may have, as well as your personal preferences and ideals.

Nitrazepamabuse detox

Detox is the process of expelling of all drug toxins from your system. When you seek help at a detox centre, the focus will be on ensuring you detox safely and with as little discomfort as possible. There are a number of ways a medical team can help you withdraw relatively painlessly.

The tapering technique is commonly used in rehab centres and involves weaning you off nitrazepam by gradually reducing your dosage over time. It is possible to detox on an outpatient basis using this technique. A doctor will place you on a tapering schedule and you’ll check in regularly for monitoring.

Medical detox for nitrazepam

Medical detox is necessary when the levels of discomfort in the first weeks or days of recovery are very challenging. It’s the safest way to quit, because it is undertaken in a detox clinic, where you’ll have access to all the medical help you need.

During medical detox, your symptoms may be managed using medications. The goal is to keep your symptoms controlled, so they’re not overwhelmingly uncomfortable. Counselling may also be applied to help with psychological symptoms.


What is nitrazepam?

Nitrazepam is a hypnotic medication belonging to the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It is a long-acting substance that has sedative and muscle-relaxing properties. It is sold under various brand names, including Somnite, Mogadon and Alodorm.

It is available as a compressed tablet andin oral suspension form, but its appearance can vary, depending on how it’s obtained. It is typically prescribed only for short-term use, because it can quickly result in dependency.

How is nitrazepamused?

Nitrazepamis typically recommended for the treatment of insomnia and myoclonic seizures. It is usually only used in the lowest effective dose, due to its potential to cause dependency. It is for the same reason that doctors tend to recommend it only for short-term use.

It is important to use the medication only as your needs dictate. The dose you requiremight be determined by your body weight, other medications being taken or other medical conditions.

What does nitrazepam look like?

The appearance of nitrazepamcan vary, depending on whether you get it from a legal or illegal source. Generally, it takes the form of a white bevelled-edged tablet that is round and flat-faced.

Nitrazepamtypically comes in 5mg and 10mg tablets. A 5mg tablet will be embossed ‘RHO 5’ on one side and scored on the other side. Similarly, a 10mg tablet will be embossed ‘RHO 10’ on one side and scored on the other side.

Is nitrazepam addictive?

Yes. Nitrazepamis an extremely addictive drug that can induce both psychological and physical symptoms. It may be even more addictive if you’ve struggled with a drug or alcohol problem previously. However, you could develop dependency rapidly, even without a previous history of addiction.

The longer you use nitrazepam, the more it loses its efficacy and the more of it you’ll need to achieve the desired effects. As you develop tolerance, you mightcontinue to increase your doses until you become so dependent that even a lower dose than you’re accustomed to will cause withdrawal to take hold.

Is nitrazepam harmful?

Yes, it can be ifused recreationally or in a manner other than prescribed by a doctor. Indeed, it is possible to overdose and there is a high chance of becoming dependent on or even addicted to nitrazepam.

This medication can result in serious physical and mental health issues arising from both short-term and long-term use. If you become dependent, withdrawal can become a serious problem, especially when it creeps up on you.

How can I spot nitrazepam addiction?

If you’re concerned that a friend or loved one might be addicted to nitrazepam, you’re right to worry. Once you notice the signs of addiction, it’s important to start talking to your loved one about getting treatment.

Look out for empty blister strips or boxes of nitrazepam, isolation and secretive behaviour, forgetfulness and oversleeping. You should be concerned if their behaviour is unusual or irresponsible, if you find them browsing websites that sell drugs or if you suspect they’re using other drugs or alcohol as well as Nitrazepam.

Where can I find help?

Narcotics Anonymous is a good place to start if you’re looking for help. They don’t focus on narcotics alone, but are open to anyone with a drug problem. If you are the family member of an addict, you could try Al-anon.

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