Prosom (estazolam) is a medication prescribed for those with insomnia to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. However, like any other medication, along with its benefits, it has side effects and contraindications. The patients must stick to the prescribed dosage and follow the intake instructions. Also, the drug is potentially habit-forming and should not be used for extended periods.
Even though estazolam is not the first-choice treatment for sleep problems, it is still commonly prescribed. In this post, let’s learn more about this medicine, its mechanism of action, its uses, and more.
Insomnia can be treated in different ways. Contact MEDvidi doctors to receive a personalized treatment plan.
What is Estazolam (Prosom)?
Prosom is an estazolam brand name, although the brand is no longer available. The drug belongs to a class of medicines known as benzodiazepines (sedative-hypnotics). Estazolam acts on the brain, influencing the levels of particular neurotransmitters to cause a calming effect, inducing and maintaining sleep.
Indications of Estazolam
Prosom (estazolam) treats insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling, staying asleep, or awakening earlier than usual. The drug also lessens the number of times you wake up at night, helping you to have a restful night’s sleep.
Insomnia is often transient and intermittent, implying it does not require long-term treatment. Again, estazolam has significant addictive potential. That’s why estazolam (Prosom) for insomnia is only prescribed for a short period, usually 1-2 weeks or less. But if insomnia symptoms do not disappear after 7-10 days or the condition worsens, consult your doctor promptly.
How to Use Prosom (Estazolam)
Prosom is a prescription drug you should take strictly according to the doctor’s instructions. Before you start using the Prosom sleeping pill or get a refill, read the pharmacist’s information guide and ensure you understand every direction. If something is not clear, ask the pharmacist or doctor.
Take Prosom tablets by mouth with or without food before going to bed, and ensure you have at least 7 hours of sleep. Taking the drug without a full night’s sleep might cause short-term memory loss.
The amount of estazolam prescribed depends on your age and response to treatment. That said, do not take a larger dose and do not use the drug for longer than instructed, as this might increase the risk of estazolam side effects.
While the drug helps many people with sleeping problems, some subjects taking Prosom medication for insomnia might develop drug dependence. The risk of addiction is higher in those with substance use disorders such as alcohol dependency.
Estazolam tablets come in 1 mg and 2 mg dosages. The recommended initial dosage is 1 mg tablet once daily, taken before bed. However, some patients require a start dose of 2 mg. Dose increments should be done with care.
Pharmacological treatment for insomnia must be personalized. Consult a doctor to know how to take estazolam.
Prosom Side Effects
Like any other drug, estazolam has risks and benefits. When taking it, you might experience some undesired effects, such as:
- Excessive sleepiness during the day
- Slow muscle movement or abnormal coordination
- Physical weakness (malaise)
- Nervousness or general discomfort
- Lower extremity pain
- Sore throat
- Abnormal thoughts
These side effects usually disappear as you continue using the drug. However, if they persist or worsen, contact your doctor for assessment immediately.
Although rare, some side effects of estazolam are serious and require immediate medical intervention. These include:
- Hypersensitivity reaction characterized by hives, difficulty breathing, and swollen lips or face.
- Slowed breathing, especially in those taking opioids.
- Seizures (often occur after the sudden stop of estazolam usage).
Contact a doctor if you experience any side effects from the prescribed medication.
Warnings for Estazolam
Some groups are at a high risk of developing serious complications with estazolam use.
1. Life-threatening difficulty in breathing and drowsiness
Individuals using pain medications known as opioids (morphine, tramadol, etc.) along with estazolam simultaneously can develop severe drowsiness with breathing difficulties that can lead to coma or even death. Talk to your doctor if taking opioids for other reasons and consider alternatives to estazolam for treating severe insomnia.
2. Dependence and withdrawal
If you’re taking estazolam for longer periods or higher doses than prescribed, your body might become dependent on the drug, so you won’t be able to get good sleep without it. Again, sudden stoppage of use might precipitate symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, increased heart rate, shakiness, and rarely seizures. Do not stop using or lower the dose of estazolam without consulting your provider.
3. Risk of abuse and addiction
Taking Prosom for non-medical reasons (abuse) can lead to overdose with lethal side effects, including extremely slow breathing and coma. On the other hand, those with a history of substance abuse are likely to develop an addiction when taking estazolam. To prevent abuse, addiction, or misuse, only take Prosom according to the doctor’s instructions.
Interactions and Contraindications
Besides opioids, estazolam can interact with other drugs interfering with its half-life and changing how it works. Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor about your current medications, including herbal products and supplements.
Some drugs that interact with estazolam include;
- Sodium oxybate
- Azole antifungals (itraconazole, ketoconazole)
- Other benzodiazepines (alprazolam)
Do not take Prosom if you are allergic to benzodiazepines or use it with flumazenil.
Contraindications of Prosom:
- Allergy to the drug
- Breathing problems
- Psychotic reactions
- Acute alcohol intoxication
- Depressed conscious levels
- Myasthenia gravis (can be used in some cases)