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Doral

Pronounced: DOHR-al
Generic name: Quazepam


Why is this drug prescribed: Doral, a sleeping medication available in tablet form, is taken as short-term treatment for insomnia. Symptoms of insomnia may include difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings throughout the night, or very early morning awakening.

Most important fact about this drug: Doral is a chemical cousin of Valium and is potentially addictive. Over time, your body will get used to the prescribed dosage of Doral, and you will no longer derive any benefit from it. If you were to increase the dosage against medical advice, the drug would again work as a sleeping pill--but only until your body adjusted to the higher dosage. This is a vicious circle that can lead to addiction. To avoid this danger, use Doral only as prescribed.

How should you take this medication: Take Doral exactly as prescribed by your doctor--one dose per day, at bedtime. Keep in touch with your doctor; if you respond very well, it may be possible to cut your dosage in half after the first few nights. The older or more run-down you are, the more desirable it is to try for this early dosage reduction. If you have been taking Doral regularly for 6 weeks or so, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly, or even if you reduce the dosage without specific instructions on how to do it. Always follow your doctor's advice for tapering off gradually from Doral. --If you miss a dose... Take this medication only if needed. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature, away from moisture.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Doral. More common side effects may include: Drowsiness during the day, headache Less common side effects may include: Changes in sex drive, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, inability to urinate, incontinence, indigestion, irregular menstrual periods, irritability, muscle spasms, slurred or otherwise abnormal speech, yellowed eyes and skin In rare instances, Doral produces agitation, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, or stimulation--exactly the opposite of the desired effect. If this should happen to you, tell your doctor; he or she will take you off the medication.

Why should this drug not be prescribed: Do not take Doral if you are sensitive to it, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it or to another Valium-type medication. You should not take Doral if you know or suspect that you have sleep apnea (short periods of interrupted breathing that occur during sleep). You should not take Doral if you are pregnant.

Special warnings about this medication: Because Doral may decrease your daytime alertness, do not drive, climb, or operate dangerous machinery until you find out how the drug affects you. In some cases, Doral's sedative effect may last for several days after the last dose. If you are suffering from depression, Doral may make your depression worse. If you have ever abused alcohol or drugs, you are at special risk for addiction to Doral. Never increase the dosage of Doral on your own. Tell your doctor right away if the medication no longer seems to be working.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Doral is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Doral with the following: Antihistamines such as Benadryl Antiseizure medications such as Dilantin and Tegretol Mood-altering medications such as Thorazine and Clozaril Other central nervous system depressants such as Xanax and Valium Do not drink alcohol while taking Doral; it can increase the drug's effects.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Because Doral may cause harm to the unborn child, it should not be taken during pregnancy. If you want to have a baby, tell your doctor, and plan to discontinue taking Doral before getting pregnant. Babies whose mothers are taking Doral at the time of birth may experience withdrawal symptoms from the drug. Such babies may be "floppy" (flaccid) instead of having normal muscle tone. Since Doral does appear in breast milk, you should not take this medication if you are nursing a baby.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: The recommended initial dose is 15 milligrams daily. Your doctor may later reduce this dosage to 7.5 milligrams. CHILDREN: Safety and efficacy of Doral in children under 18 years old have not been established. OLDER ADULTS: You may be more sensitive to this drug, and the doctor may reduce the dosage after only 1 or 2 nights.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Doral, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an overdose of Doral may include: Coma, confusion, extreme sleepiness









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