Citation: VioletVesta. "Restas Regret: An Experience with Flutoprazepam & Various (exp111431)". Erowid.org. Aug 10, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111431
Simply put, I love psychoactive pharmaceuticals and rely upon them to cope more than is probably healthy. Generally speaking, GABAergics are my favorite class, due to both strong genetic predispositions (lots of alcoholics on both sides of the family) and various psychiatric disorders that render CNS depressants particularly appealing. I'm an extremely intense, deeply neurotic, high-strung person in general, so 'downers' offer a glimpse of relief from the tension and anxieties I experience day in and day out more often than not. I'm not particularly proud of it, but I self-medicate with various substances in this category from time to time to augment and prevent building too much of a tolerance to my prescribed medications.
I'm also always on the hunt for unique and interesting pills, as researching (especially obscure) pharmaceuticals is kind of a side hobby and small comfort in itself. So when I learned of several benzos that are confined to clinical use in Japan, I was highly intrigued. There's an inherent mystique of sorts about drugs that are only medically utilized in a single country, and they all have the benefit of being uncontrolled (thus far) in the US.
One of these mysterious benzos in the Land of the Rising Sun is flutoprazepam, marketed under the serene-sounding brand name 'Restas'. It's primarily prescribed as a treatment for serious insomnia and as an anticonvulsant. After some perfunctory research, I discovered that it was reported by the few Westerners who've tried it to be the most powerful and hypnotic of the bunch. Not a whole lot of official, scientific information is available on these in English, so anecdotal accounts are mainly what the intrepid downer dilettante has to go on. Since benzodiazepines tend to be a bit underwhelming to me compared to GABAergics in other classes, I opted for this one and ordered 30 2 mg tablets.
The tablets are tiny, like many things that pack a potent punch. One night, lying in bed after a nasty little spate of moderate to severe distress and anxiety, I decided to sample one. I took it sublingually since I had some food in my stomach, just in case the efficacy would be compromised in that state were I to simply swallow it.
After about half an hour to 45 minutes or so, I began to notice the effects kick in. I started to feel much more relaxed and apathetic towards the anxieties that were bedeviling me beforehand, sedated just enough not to care. It was a pleasant feeling, though nothing truly stellar. I would describe the profile of this one as 'well-rounded'. Moderate degree of muscle relaxation, anxiolysis, and hypnotic effects. I spent the rest of the evening watching an animated children's show about mermaids until I passed out, fairly quickly, within a couple hours or so. I slept about 9-11 hours, which is rather unusual for me. Very rarely am I ever capable of sleeping continuously for more than five hours or so without awakening.
Unfortunately, this initial test was the only genuinely positive experience I had with it over the course of the next several months. With an extremely long half-life of 60-90 hours, one problem with this drug seemed to be that any positive effects would wear off much earlier than that would suggest, though a dulling, unenjoyable hangover persisted well into the next day.
any positive effects would wear off much earlier than that would suggest, though a dulling, unenjoyable hangover persisted well into the next day.
Though it would quell anxiety, knock me out and keep me asleep for 8-10 hours consistently, I never really did recapture the nice sedation of that first experience, and I always allowed plenty of time in between doses so as to prevent building too much of a tolerance.
The main issue, though, was that the 'rebound effect' from Restas was terrible. Out of the small handful of benzos I've yet tried, this was the only one to give me nasty bouts of irritability, anxiety and low mood, an exacerbation of depression symptoms, after only single doses. During my experimentation with it, I took dosages ranging from 0.25 to 8 mg--though typically in the 1-4 mg range, which I'm taken to understand is within the therapeutic limits--and pretty much every time there would be a noticeable rebound of this nature, sometimes even presenting with some physical ickiness too, a general sense of being ill with chills, headaches and heightened fatigue.
The other primary trouble with flutoprazepam that I feel obligated to point out is that, due to the half-life I imagine, it was a very 'sneaky' drug in my experience. What I mean by that is that the aforementioned 'rebounds' (as distinct from the 'hangover') usually wouldn't occur until days later; I'd feel fine for a day or two following dosing, and then by the end of the week I'd be feeling terribly agitated and markedly 'off' all over as it was eliminated from my system. (Despite my general baseline struggles with anxiety and such, I feel confident attributing this to the Restas as it happened consistently enough to notice the pattern.) This was a tricky, pernicious aspect as, before I recognized what was going on, I'd take other more short-acting sedatives to stave off the resultant anxiety, and then really crash at the end.
Beyond that original dose, I also found that the window of efficacy for this drug was far too narrow, and it seemed like I could never quite hit the sweet spot with dosing such that I could feel and enjoy the sedative effects I sought. It was more like a switch than a linear gradient, where I always either couldn't really feel it at lower doses, or simply blacked out and felt just emotionally numb at higher doses. This one is very amnesic for me, especially in excess of 2-3 mg, and taking large binge doses resulted in blackouts where my memory was extremely hazy at best over multiple days. Not particularly pleasurable, though--it really felt more like a neuroleptic type of benzo, like a 'major tranquilizer'/antipsychotic in many regards than a 'euphoric', mood-elevating sedative-hypnotic. Considerably dulling cognitively and emotionally, as mentioned, just getting me utterly obliterated and zoned-out for a while, but not, again, in much of a 'fun' way.
The last straw was when I went on a massive binge with the rest of my stash over several days and ended up, predictably, blacking out completely for long stretches of time (which is a scary feeling, in my view, to not have any recollection whatsoever) and (as I was told after the fact by appalled family members) barely being able to even walk, stand up straight or speak at various points. Granted, this was in combination with other sedatives, but I'm pretty certain that the high doses of Restas really sent everything over the edge. This incident has had some serious ramifications as it triggered trauma issues in those around me and I'm barely on speaking terms with my brother (who I'd previously been getting along with just fine) now.
So, in summation, I'd have to say that I regret deciding to explore this one, as it just wasn't worth it for me at all. At least for me, this is one GABAergic medication better left across the Pacific.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.