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Diazepam vs. Temazepam: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 5, 2024
Diazepam is primarily used for anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures, whereas temazepam is mainly for insomnia.

Key Differences

Diazepam, a benzodiazepine, is often prescribed for anxiety, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Conversely, Temazepam, also a benzodiazepine, is predominantly used to treat insomnia. Both medications work by enhancing the effect of GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces neural activity, but their specific uses and dosing recommendations differ significantly.
Diazepam has a longer half-life, making it effective for conditions requiring continuous effect. In contrast, Temazepam, with a shorter half-life, is suitable for short-term treatment of sleep disturbances. While both diazepam and temazepam are benzodiazepines, their pharmacokinetic profiles cater to different therapeutic needs.
The side effect profile of diazepam includes drowsiness, fatigue, and muscle weakness. Temazepam, while also causing drowsiness (which is desirable for its use in insomnia), may additionally cause amnesia. Both medications carry risks of dependence and withdrawal symptoms, but these risks may vary in intensity due to their different pharmacological properties.
Diazepam is often used as a premedication for anxiety-inducing procedures, offering both sedation and anxiolytic effects. Temazepam, on the other hand, is rarely used in such scenarios, focusing instead on promoting sleep and improving sleep quality. Both drugs, however, should be used cautiously, especially in the elderly, due to increased sensitivity to side effects.
Diazepam can be administered orally, intravenously, or rectally, making it versatile in various clinical situations. Temazepam is typically administered orally, specifically for sleep disorders. Both medications require careful monitoring due to their potential for abuse and dependence.

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures


Longer (20-50 hours)
Shorter (8-20 hours)


Oral, IV, rectal

Common Side Effects

Drowsiness, fatigue, muscle weakness
Drowsiness, amnesia

Risk of Dependence

Moderate to high

Diazepam and Temazepam Definitions


Diazepam is a medication for alcohol withdrawal.
Diazepam was administered to ease the patient's alcohol withdrawal.


Temazepam is a benzodiazepine for treating insomnia.
She takes temazepam to cope with her chronic insomnia.


Diazepam is used in the management of seizures.
Diazepam can rapidly control acute seizure activity.


Temazepam aids in sleep onset and maintenance.
Temazepam helped him fall asleep faster and stay asleep.


Diazepam serves as a muscle relaxant.
After the injury, diazepam helped relax his tense muscles.


Temazepam reduces nighttime awakenings.
Temazepam has significantly reduced his midnight awakenings.


Diazepam is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety.
The doctor prescribed diazepam to help manage her anxiety symptoms.


Temazepam is short-acting for temporary sleep problems.
For her short-term insomnia, the doctor prescribed temazepam.


Diazepam functions as a premedication for sedation.
Before the procedure, diazepam was given for sedation.


Temazepam is occasionally used for pre-operative sedation.
Temazepam was administered pre-operatively to calm her nerves.


A benzodiazepine drug, C16H13ClN2O, used to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal and as a sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsant.


A benzodiazepine drug, C16H13ClN2O2, used for short-term treatment of insomnia.


(pharmaceutical drug) A tranquilizing muscle relaxant drug (trademark Valium) used chiefly to relieve anxiety.


(pharmaceutical drug) A compound (trademark Restoril) of the benzodiazepine class used as a tranquilizer and short-acting hypnotic.


A tranquilizer (trade name Valium) used to relieve anxiety and relax muscles; acts by enhancing the inhibitory actions of the neurotransmitter GABA; can also be used as an anticonvulsant drug in cases of nerve agent poisoning


A frequently prescribed benzodiazepine (trade name Restoril); takes effect slowly and lasts long enough to help those people who wake up frequently during the night


What is temazepam prescribed for?

Temazepam is mainly prescribed for treating insomnia.

Can diazepam be used for sleep?

While diazepam can induce sleepiness, it's not the first choice for insomnia.

Does temazepam affect REM sleep?

Temazepam may decrease the duration of REM sleep.

Is diazepam safe for elderly patients?

Diazepam should be used cautiously in the elderly due to increased sensitivity.

Does diazepam help with alcohol withdrawal?

Yes, diazepam is effective in managing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

What is diazepam used for?

Diazepam is primarily used for treating anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures.

Is temazepam addictive?

Yes, temazepam can be addictive and should be used as per doctor's advice.

How does diazepam work?

Diazepam works by enhancing GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces neural activity.

How quickly does temazepam work?

Temazepam typically works within 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Are there any non-medication alternatives to temazepam for insomnia?

Lifestyle changes, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques can be alternatives.

Can diazepam be taken long-term?

Long-term use of diazepam is not recommended due to risks of dependence.

Can temazepam cause next-day drowsiness?

Yes, temazepam can cause next-day drowsiness in some individuals.

How long does diazepam stay in your system?

Diazepam can stay in the system for several days, depending on various factors.

Can diazepam cause withdrawal symptoms?

Yes, abrupt discontinuation of diazepam can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Can temazepam be used for anxiety?

While not a primary treatment for anxiety, temazepam may indirectly alleviate it.

What are the side effects of diazepam?

Common side effects include drowsiness, fatigue, and muscle weakness.

Can I drink alcohol with temazepam?

Combining alcohol with temazepam is not advised due to increased sedative effects.

Is temazepam a strong sleeping pill?

Temazepam is considered effective for insomnia but should be used responsibly.

Is temazepam safer than other benzodiazepines?

Safety depends on individual medical conditions and should be assessed by a doctor.

Does diazepam interact with other medications?

Diazepam can interact with several medications; consult a doctor for specifics.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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