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Estazolam (sedative-hypnotic agent)

Uses|Precautions & warnings|Side effects|Interactions|Dosage

Estazolam belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It acts on your brain to produce a calming effect.


What is Estazolam used for?

Estazolam is commonly used to treat insomnia, including having difficulty sleeping or staying asleep.

It may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and lessen how often you wake up during the night, so you can get a better night’s rest.

How should I take Estazolam?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually just before you get into bed. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment.

The use of this medication is usually limited to short treatment periods of 1 to 2 weeks or less. If your insomnia continues for a longer time, talk to your doctor to see if you need other treatment.

How do I store Estazolam?

Estazolam is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Estazolam in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Estazolam that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Estazolam down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Estazolam?

Before taking estazolam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, lung/breathing problems (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, sleep apnea), mental/mood problems (such as depression, thoughts of suicide), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), personal or family history of sleepwalking, a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis).

Since this drug makes you drowsy, do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more drowsy. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, confusion, unsteadiness, and excessive drowsiness. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.

Estazolam must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you are a woman of childbearing age, use a reliable form of birth control while taking this drug. If you are planning pregnancy, do not take this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

This medication may pass into breast milk and have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Never take this drug if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as it can cause severe birth defects and newborn withdrawal symptoms. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking estazolam. Estazolam is a pregnancy risk category X according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from estazolam?

Dizziness or difficulty with coordination may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To reduce the risk of dizziness or falling, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

This medication may cause daytime sleepiness. Inform your doctor if you experience this or if it affects your daily activities.

As with other benzodiazepines, estazolam may cause dependency or addiction. Stopping this medication abruptly may cause symptoms of withdrawal which may include:

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • cold sweats
  • sleep disturbances
  • tremors or shaking
  • difficulty concentrating

If you experience any of these symptoms while taking estazolam or after stopping it, consult your doctor for further treatment.

When this medication is used continually for an extended period of time, some patients may experience drug tolerance. This may require dose adjustment or a drug substitution, as recommended by your doctor.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists after 7 to 10 days, or if it worsens.

You may have trouble sleeping the first few nights after you stop taking this medication. This is called rebound insomnia and is normal. It will usually go away after 1 or 2 nights. If this effect continues, contact your doctor.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rashes
  • itching
  • swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • difficulty breathing

Rarely, estazolam can cause temporary short-term memory loss. To lessen this risk, do not take a dose of this drug unless you have time for a full night’s sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours. If you have to wake up before that, you may have some memory loss.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Estazolam?

A product that may interact with this drug is: sodium oxybate.

Other medications can affect the removal of estazolam from your body, which may affect how estazolam works. Examples include ribociclib, azole antifungals (such as itraconazole/ketoconazole), among others.

The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is taken with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana, other drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Estazolam may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with estazolam?

Do not take this medication with alcohol as it may increase the sedative effects and cause excessive CNS depression. This medication may be safely taken with or without food.

Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with estazolam?

Estazolam may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose of estazolam for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia

1 to 2 mg orally at bedtime

Use: Short-term management of insomnia

Usual Geriatric Dose for Insomnia

1 mg orally at bedtime


-Dose increases should be initiated with care.

-In small or debilitated older patients, a starting dose of 0.5 mg should be considered.

Use: Short-term management of insomnia

Renal Dose Adjustments

Renal impairment: Use with caution

Liver Dose Adjustments

Hepatic impairment: Use with caution

Dose Adjustments

-Dose adjustments may be required if used concomitantly with CYP450 3A inhibitors.

Other Comments

Patient advice:

-Patients should be cautioned against performing activities requiring complete mental alertness, such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle.

What is the dose for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using it. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Estazolam available?

Estazolam is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet 1 mg, 2 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of estazolam, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Estazolam. https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/estazolam. Accessed June 14, 2021

Estazolam Oral Route. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/estazolam-oral-route/precautions/drg-20072253?p=1. Accessed June 14, 2021

Estazolam https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d00915a1 Accessed June 14, 2021

Estazolam https://www.empr.com/drug/estazolam/ Accessed June 14, 2021

Estazolam https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/20814-estazolam-tablets Accessed June 14, 2021

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jun 14, 2021