Prescription Drug Information: DORAL (Page 2 of 3)


The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and monitor patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation.

Benzodiazepines, including DORAL, produce additive CNS depressant effects when co-administered with ethanol or other CNS depressants (e.g. psychotropic medications, anticonvulsants, antihistamines). Downward dose adjustment of DORAL and/or concomitant CNS depressants may be necessary because of additive effects.


8.1 Pregnancy

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Administration of benzodiazepines immediately prior to or during childbirth can result in a syndrome of hypothermia, hypotonia, respiratory depression, and difficulty feeding. In addition, infants born to mothers who have taken benzodiazepines during the later stages of pregnancy can develop dependence, and subsequently withdrawal, during the postnatal period. Although administration of DORAL to pregnant animals did not indicate a risk for adverse effects on morphological development at clinically relevant doses, data for other benzodiazepines suggest the possibility of adverse developmental effects (long-term effects on neurobehavioral and immunological function) in animals following prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines. DORAL should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

Developmental toxicity studies of DORAL in mice at doses up to 400 times the human dose (15 mg) revealed no major drug-related malformations. Minor fetal skeletal variations that occurred were delayed ossification of the sternum, vertebrae, distal phalanges and supraoccipital bones, at doses approximately 70 and 400 times the human dose. A developmental toxicity study of DORAL in New Zealand rabbits at doses up to approximately 130 times the human dose demonstrated no effect on fetal morphology or development of offspring.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

DORAL and its metabolites are excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when administering DORAL to a nursing woman.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

DORAL may cause confusion and over-sedation in the elderly. Elderly patients generally should be started on a low dose of DORAL and observed closely. Elderly and debilitated patients may be more sensitive to benzodiazepines, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. A double-blind controlled sleep laboratory study (N=30) compared the effects of DORAL 7.5 mg and 15 mg to that of placebo over a period of 7 days. Both the 7.5 mg and 15 mg doses appeared to be well tolerated. Caution must be used in interpreting this data due to the small size of the study.


9.1 Controlled Substance

Quazepam is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by federal regulation.

9.2 Abuse and Dependence

Addiction-prone individuals (e.g. history of drug addiction or alcoholism) should be under careful surveillance when receiving DORAL because of increased risk of abuse and dependence. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can occur following discontinuation of DORAL [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Abuse is characterized by misuse of the drug for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug and/or administration of an antagonist. Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drug’s effects over time. Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs and may develop at different rates for different effects.

Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, but relapse is common.


Contact a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of benzodiazepine overdose.

Manifestations of DORAL overdose include somnolence, confusion, and coma. General supportive measures should be employed, along with immediate gastric lavage. Dialysis is of limited value. Flumazenil may be useful, but can contribute to the appearance of neurological symptoms including convulsions. Hypotension may be treated by appropriate medical intervention. Animal experiments suggest that forced diuresis or hemodialysis are of little value in treating DORAL overdose. As with the management of intentional overdose with any drug, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered.


DORAL contains quazepam, a trifluoroethyl benzodiazepine hypnotic agent, having the chemical name 7-chloro-5- (o-fluoro-phenyl)-1,3-dihydro-1-(2,2,2- trifluoroethyl)-2H-1,4-benzodiazepine-2-thione and the following structural

structural formula

Quazepam has the empirical formula C 17 H 11 ClF 4 N 2 S, and a molecular weight of 386.8. It is a white crystalline compound, soluble in ethanol and insoluble in water.

Each DORAL Tablet contains 15 mg of quazepam. The inactive ingredients for DORAL Tablets include cellulose, corn starch, FD&C Yellow No. 6, lactose, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and sodium lauryl sulfate.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

DORAL, like other central nervous system agents of the 14-benzodiazepine class, presumably exerts its effects by binding to stereo-specific receptors at several sites within the central nervous system (CNS). The exact mechanism of action is unknown.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics


DORAL is rapidly (absorption half-life of about 30 minutes) and well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The peak plasma concentration of quazepam is approximately 20 ng/mL after a 15 mg dose and occurs at about 2 hours.


Quazepam, the active parent compound, is extensively metabolized in the liver; two of the plasma metabolites are 2-oxoquazepam and N-desalkyl-2-oxoquazepam. All three compounds show CNS depressant activity.


The degree of plasma protein binding for quazepam and its two major metabolites is greater than 95%.


Following administration of 14C-quazepam, 31% of the dose appeared in the urine and 23% in the feces over five days; only trace amounts of unchanged drug were present in the urine.

The mean elimination half-life of quazepam and 2-oxoquazepam is 39 hours and that of N-desalkyl-2-oxoquazepam is 73 hours. Steady-state levels of quazepam and 2-oxoquazepam are attained by the seventh daily dose and that of N-desalkyl-2-oxoquazepam by the thirteenth daily dose.

Special Populations

Geriatrics: The pharmacokinetics of quazepam and 2-oxoquazepam in geriatric subjects are comparable to those seen in young adults; as with desalkyl metabolites of other benzodiazepines, the elimination half-life of N-desalkyl-2-oxoquazepam in geriatric patients is about twice that of young adults.

Drug Interactions

Bupropion (a CYP2B6 substrate): Co-administration of a single dose of 150 mg Bupropion Hydrochloride XL with steady state quazepam did not significantly affect the AUC and Cmax of bupropion or its primary metabolite, hydroxybupropion.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility


DORAL showed no evidence of carcinogenicity in oral carcinogenicity studies in mice and hamsters.


DORAL was negative in the bacterial reverse mutation (Ames) assay and equivocal in the mouse lymphoma tk assay.

Impairment of Fertility

Reproduction studies in mice conducted with DORAL at doses equal to 60 and

180 times the human dose of 15 mg produced slight reductions in fertility rate. Similar reductions in fertility rate have been reported in mice dosed with other benzodiazepines, and is believed to be related to the sedative effects of these drugs at high doses


The effectiveness of DORAL was established in placebo-controlled clinical studies of 5 nights duration in acute and chronic insomnia. The sustained effectiveness of DORAL was established in chronic insomnia in a sleep laboratory (polysomnographic) study of 28 nights duration. In the sleep laboratory study, DORAL significantly decreased sleep latency and total wake time, and significantly increased total sleep time and percent sleep time, for one or more nights.

DORAL 15 mg was effective on the first night of administration. Sleep latency, total wake time and wake time after sleep onset were still decreased and percent sleep time was still increased for several nights after the drug was discontinued. Percent slow wave sleep was decreased, and REM sleep was essentially unchanged. No transient sleep disturbance, such as “rebound insomnia,” was observed after withdrawal of the drug in sleep laboratory studies in 12 patients using 15 mg doses.

A double-blind, controlled sleep laboratory study (N=30) in elderly patients compared the effects of DORAL 7.5 mg and 15 mg to that of placebo over a period of 7 days. Both the 7.5 mg and 15 mg doses appeared to be effective. Caution must be used in interpreting this data due to the small size of the study.


DORAL Tablets, 15 mg: A capsule shaped light orange, slightly white-speckled bisected tablet debossed “15″ on one side & “DORAL” on the other side.

15 mg Bottles of 30 NDC 61825-165-30
15 mg Bottles of 100 NDC 61825-165-10

Store DORAL Tablets at controlled room temperature 20°-25°C (68°-77°F).


See FDA-approved patient labeling ( Medication Guide).

Inform patients and caregivers that potentially fatal additive effects may occur if DORAL is used with opioids and not to use such drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a healthcare provider [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Interactions (7)]

Inform patients about the benefits and risks of DORAL, stressing the importance of use as directed. Assist patients in understanding the Medication Guide and instruct them to read it with each prescription refill.

CNS depressant Effects and Next-Day Impairment

Tell patients that DORAL can cause next-day impairment, even in the absence of symptoms. Caution patients against driving or engaging in other hazardous activities or activities requiring complete mental alertness when using DORAL. Tell patients that daytime impairment may persist for several days following discontinuation of DORAL. Advise patients that increased drowsiness and decreased consciousness may increase the risk of falls in some patients.


Instruct patients to contact you before stopping or decreasing the dose of DORAL, because withdrawal symptoms can occur.

Abnormal thinking and behavior change

Instruct patients that sedative hypnotics can cause abnormal thinking and behavior change, including “sleep-driving” and other complex behaviors while not being fully awake (preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex). Tell patients to call you immediately if they develop any of these symptoms.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Inform patients that severe allergic reactions can occur from DORAL. Describe the signs/symptoms of these reactions and advise patients to seek medical attention immediately if these occur.


Tell patients that DORAL can worsen depression, and to immediately report any suicidal thoughts.

Alcohol and other drugs

Ask patients about alcohol consumption, medicines they are taking now, and drugs they may be taking without a prescription. Advise patients that alcohol generally should not be used during treatment with DORAL.


Instruct patients to inform you if they are nursing or pregnant, or may become pregnant while taking DORAL.

Tolerance, Abuse, and Dependence

Tell patients not to increase the dose of DORAL on their own, and to inform you if they believe the drug “does not work”.

Manufactured for:
Galt Pharmaceuticals, LLC.
Atlanta, GA 30339

Printed in USA. 500494-07 Rev. 10/2019

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