Nitrazepam

Pediatric Medication

This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.

Brand Names: Canada

APO-Nitrazepam; Mogadon; SANDOZ Nitrazepam [DSC]

Warning

  • This drug is a benzodiazepine. The use of a benzodiazepine drug along with opioid drugs has led to very bad side effects. Side effects that have happened include slowed or trouble breathing and death. Opioid drugs include drugs like codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. Opioid drugs are used to treat pain and some are used to treat cough. Talk with the doctor.
  • If your child is taking this drug with an opioid drug, get medical help right away if your child feels very sleepy or dizzy; if your child has slow, shallow, or trouble breathing; or if your child passes out. Get medical help right away if your child does not respond, does not answer or react like normal, or will not wake up.
  • Benzodiazepines can put your child at risk for addiction, abuse, and misuse. Misuse or abuse of this drug can lead to overdose or death, especially when used along with certain other drugs, alcohol, or street drugs. Addiction can happen even if your child takes this drug as told by the doctor. Get medical help right away if your child has changes in mood or behavior, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, or trouble breathing.
  • Your child will be watched closely to make sure your child does not misuse, abuse, or become addicted to this drug.
  • Benzodiazepines may cause dependence, especially when used for several days to weeks. Lowering the dose or stopping this drug all of a sudden may cause withdrawal. This can be life-threatening. Talk to your child’s doctor before you lower the dose or stop giving this drug. You will need to follow the doctor’s instructions. Get medical help right away if your child has trouble controlling body movements, seizures, new or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of suicide, thoughts of harming someone, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), losing contact with reality, moving around or talking a lot, or any other bad effects.
  • Sometimes, withdrawal signs can last for several weeks to more than 12 months. Tell the doctor if your child has anxiety; trouble with memory, learning, or focusing; trouble sleeping; burning, numbness, or tingling; weakness; shaking; muscle twitching; ringing in the ears; or any other bad effects.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to help control certain kinds of seizures.

For sleep:

  • This drug is not approved for this use in children. However, the doctor may decide the benefits of taking this drug outweigh the risks. If your child has been given this drug, ask the doctor for information about the benefits and risks. Talk with your child’s doctor if you have questions about giving this drug to your child.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
  • If your child has any of these health problems: Liver problems, lung or breathing problems like sleep apnea, or myasthenia gravis.
  • If your child is taking any drugs or natural products used for sleep. There are many products used for sleep. Ask your child’s doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Do not give this drug to your child if she is pregnant.
  • Be sure your child does not breast-feed a baby while taking this drug.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.

Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your child avoid tasks or actions that call for alertness until you see how this drug affects your child. These are things like riding a bike, playing sports, or using items such as scissors, lawnmowers, electric scooters, toy cars, or motorized vehicles. Your child may still feel sleepy the day after taking this drug. Have your child avoid these tasks or actions until your child feels fully awake.
  • Some people have done certain tasks or actions while they were not fully awake like driving, and making and eating food. Most of the time, people do not remember doing these things. Tell the doctor if this happens to your child.
  • Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before your child uses marijuana, other forms of cannabis, or prescription or OTC drugs that may slow your child’s actions.
  • The chance of falling is raised with this drug. The chance of falling is higher in older people and with higher doses of this drug. Talk with the doctor.
  • If the patient is a child, use this drug with care. The risk of side effects may be higher in some children.

If your child is pregnant:

  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Change in balance.
  • Trouble moving around.
  • Falls.
  • Feeling confused.
  • New or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of suicide.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Memory problems or loss.
  • Not able to focus.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Anxiety.
  • Restlessness.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • More saliva.
  • Bad dreams.
  • Muscle spasm.
  • A very bad reaction called angioedema has happened with this drug. Sometimes, this may be life-threatening. Signs may include swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, tongue, or throat; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or unusual hoarseness. Get medical help right away if your child has any of these signs.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:

  • Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired, or weak.
  • Feeling sleepy the next day.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • You may dissolve the tablet in liquid or your child may swallow the tablet whole or chew it.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this drug is given on an as needed basis. Do not give to your child more often than told by the doctor.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature protected from light. Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Store this drug in a safe place where children cannot see or reach it, and where other people cannot get to it. A locked box or area may help keep this drug safe. Keep all drugs away from pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2020-11-03

Copyright

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Last Updated