Flunitrazepam (pronounced /ˌfluːnɨˈtræzɨpæm/) is marketed as a hypnotic drug and has sedative, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, amnestic, hypnotic and skeletal muscle relaxant properties. A short-intermediate acting benzodiazepine derivative, flunitrazepam is prescribed for the treatment of severe insomnia, marketed by Roche most commonly under the trade name Rohypnol (informally Rufinol) -also marketed in some countries under the trade names Hipnosedon, Hypnodorm, Flunipam, Nilium, Vulbegal, Silece, Darkene, Ilman and Insom.
The prescription of flunitrazepam as a hypnotic is generally intended to be for short-term treatment of chronic, or severe insomnias that are not responsive to other hypnotics, especially in inpatients. It is considered to be one of the most effective benzodiazepine hypnotics on a dose basis.
Just as with other hypnotics, flunitrazepam should only be used on a short term basis or in those with chronic insomnia on an occasional basis.
The drug is sometimes used as a date rape drug (commonly referred to in street slang as a “roofie“).
Flunitrazepam is classed as a nitrobenzodiazepine. It was developed by combining nitrazepam with fluorine. Other nitrobenzodiazepines include nitrazepam and clonazepam.
The Dutch, British and French use a system called the System of Objectified Judgement Analysis for assessing whether drugs should be included in drug formularies based on clinical efficacy, adverse effects, pharmacokinetic properties, toxicity and drug interactions. A Dutch analysis using the system found that flunitrazepam is unsuitable to be included in drug prescribing formularies.
Rohypnol is the brand name for a drug called Flunitrazepam, which is a powerful sedative that depresses the central nervous system. Rohypnol is not legally available for prescription in the United States, but is legal in 60 countries worldwide for treatment of insomnia.