Generic Name: triazolam (trye-AZ-oh-lam)
Brand Name: Halcion

Halcion is used for:

Treating insomnia (trouble sleeping). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Halcion is a benzodiazepine. It works by depressing the central nervous system (brain), causing drowsiness to aid in falling asleep.

Do NOT use Halcion if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Halcion or to other benzodiazepines (eg, temazepam)
  • you are pregnant
  • you have a severe mental disorder, angle-closure glaucoma, or severe liver disease
  • you are taking clozapine, delavirdine, efavirenz, an HIV protease inhibitor (eg, ritonavir), itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, or sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using Halcion:

Some medical conditions may interact with Halcion. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have or have ever had alcoholism or substance abuse or dependence, or if you drink alcohol
  • if you have depression, mental or mood problems, or a history of suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • if you have myasthenia gravis (a condition in which the muscles become progressively paralyzed)
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, the blood disease porphyria, or glaucoma, or if you are at risk for glaucoma
  • if you have chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, difficulty breathing while asleep (sleep apnea), or other breathing problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Halcion. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Rifampin or St. John's wort because they may decrease Halcion's effectiveness
  • Clozapine because the risk of side effects, such as confusion; sedation; excess salivation; unsteady movements; lightheadedness, especially upon standing; difficult or slow breathing; or drowsiness leading to unresponsiveness or coma, may be increased
  • Sodium oxybate (GHB) because an increase in sleep duration and decrease in the ability to breathe may occur
  • Amiodarone, azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole), calcium channel blockers (eg, diltiazem, nifedipine), cimetidine, cyclosporine, delavirdine, efavirenz, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), fluvoxamine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), isoniazid, ketolides (eg, telithromycin), macrolides (eg, erythromycin), nefazodone, omeprazole, ranitidine, or valproic acid because they may increase the risk of Halcion's side effects
  • Anticonvulsants (eg, phenytoin, phenobarbital) or antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Halcion

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Halcion may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Halcion:

Use Halcion as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Halcion. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take Halcion by mouth with or without food.
  • Take Halcion before bedtime.
  • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may increase the actions and side effects of Halcion. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit in your diet.
  • If you miss a dose of Halcion, take it as soon as possible. If you no longer have time for a full night's sleep or you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Halcion.

Important safety information:

  • Halcion may cause drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, or difficulty with coordination. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Halcion with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Halcion; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Halcion can cause memory loss. Take Halcion only when you are able to get a full night's sleep (7 to 8 hours). Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing memory problems.
  • Some patients taking Halcion have performed certain activities while they were not fully awake. These have included sleep-driving, making and eating food, making phone calls, and having sex. Patients often do not remember these events after they happen. Such an event may be more likely to occur if you use a high dose of Halcion. It may also be more likely if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that may cause drowsiness while you use Halcion. Tell your doctor right away if such an event happens to you.
  • If your symptoms do not get better within 7 to 10 days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • If you notice any unusual or disturbing thoughts or behavior while taking Halcion, contact your doctor at once.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Halcion before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use Halcion with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially oversedation, dizziness, memory loss, or confusion.
  • Use Halcion with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Halcion if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Halcion is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are taking Halcion.

When sleep medicines are used every night for more than a few weeks, they may lose their effectiveness to help you sleep. This is known as TOLERANCE. Sleep medicines should usually be used only for short periods of time, such as a few days and generally no longer than 1 or 2 weeks. If your sleep problems continue, contact your doctor.

When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking Halcion. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

WITHDRAWAL symptoms may occur when Halcion is stopped suddenly after being used daily for a long time. But these symptoms can occur even if Halcion has been used for only a week or two. In mild cases, WITHDRAWAL symptoms may include unpleasant feelings. Although uncommon, in more severe cases, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and, rarely, seizures may occur. Another problem that may occur is "rebound insomnia," that is, more trouble sleeping the first few nights after the medicine is stopped than before starting the medicine. This usually goes away after 1 or 2 nights. If you have been taking Halcion for more than 1 or 2 weeks, do not stop taking it on your own. Your doctor may give you special directions on how to gradually decrease your dose before stopping the medicine. Always follow your doctor's directions.

Possible side effects of Halcion:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Clumsiness or unsteadiness; daytime drowsiness; dizziness; fatigue; feeling of hangover; headache; lightheadedness; nausea; nervousness; sluggishness; unusual weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) aggressiveness; chest pain; fast heartbeat; hallucinations; increased anxiety; memory loss; mental or mood changes; new or worsening depression; shortness of breath; slurred speech; suicidal thoughts; unusual thoughts or behavior; urinary changes; vision changes; worsening trouble sleeping; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include clumsiness; coma; confusion; difficult or slow breathing; dizziness; drowsiness leading to unresponsiveness or coma; lightheadedness especially upon standing; loss of consciousness.

Proper storage of Halcion:

Store Halcion at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Halcion out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Halcion, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Halcion is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Halcion or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. 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 Halcion. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Halcion. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Halcion.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. 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 your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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