Classifications: central nervous system agent; benzodiazepine; anxiolytic; sedative-hypnotic
Prototype: Lorazepam
Pregnancy Category: X
Controlled Substance: Schedule IV


7.5 mg, 15 mg tablets


Believed to potentiate gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neuronal inhibition in the limbic, neocortical, and mesencephalic reticular systems.

Therapeutic Effects

Significantly decreases sleep latency and total wake time and significantly increases sleep time. REM sleep is essentially unchanged. No transient sleep disturbance such as "rebound insomnia" was observed after withdrawal of the drug.


Insomnia characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, or early morning awakenings.


Hypersensitivity to quazepam or benzodiazepines; sleep apnea; pregnancy (category X), lactation.

Cautious Use

Impaired liver and kidney function. Safety and effectiveness in children <18 y are not established.

Route & Dosage

Adult: PO 7.5–15 mg h.s.



Adverse Effects (1%)

CNS: Drowsiness, headache, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth. GI: Dyspepsia.


Drug: Alcohol, cns depressants, anticonvulsants potentiate CNS depression; cimetidine increases quazepam plasma levels, increasing its toxicity; may decrease antiparkinsonism effects of levodopa; may increase phenytoin levels; smoking decreases sedative effects of quazepam. Herbal: Kava-kava, valerian may potentiate sedation.


Absorption: Readily absorbed from GI tract. Onset: 30 min. Peak: 2 h. Distribution: Crosses placenta; distributed into breast milk. Metabolism: Metabolized in liver to active metabolites. Elimination: Excreted in urine and feces. Half-Life: 39 h.

Nursing Implications

Assessment & Drug Effects

Patient & Family Education

Common adverse effects in italic, life-threatening effects underlined; generic names in bold; classifications in SMALL CAPS; Canadian drug name; Prototype drug