Generic Name: triazolam (Oral route)

trye-AZ-oh-lam

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Halcion

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Hypnotic

Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Short or Intermediate Acting

Uses For Halcion

Triazolam is used to treat insomnia (trouble with sleeping). This medicine is only for short-term use, usually 7 to 10 days. Triazolam is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are medicines that slow down the nervous system.

Slideshow: Need To Catch Some Shut-Eye? Tips on Getting the Sleep You Need

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using Halcion

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of triazolam in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of triazolam in the elderly. However, severe drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, or unsteadiness are more likely to occur in the elderly, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving triazolam.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters X Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amprenavir
  • Atazanavir
  • Boceprevir
  • Cobicistat
  • Darunavir
  • Delavirdine
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Indinavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lopinavir
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Ritonavir
  • Saquinavir
  • Telaprevir
  • Tipranavir

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alfentanil
  • Amobarbital
  • Anileridine
  • Aprobarbital
  • Buprenorphine
  • Butabarbital
  • Butalbital
  • Carbamazepine
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Carisoprodol
  • Ceritinib
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Chlorzoxazone
  • Codeine
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dantrolene
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Ethchlorvynol
  • Fentanyl
  • Fluconazole
  • Fospropofol
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Levorphanol
  • Meclizine
  • Meperidine
  • Mephenesin
  • Mephobarbital
  • Meprobamate
  • Metaxalone
  • Methocarbamol
  • Methohexital
  • Mibefradil
  • Mitotane
  • Morphine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Pentobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • Piperaquine
  • Primidone
  • Propoxyphene
  • Remifentanil
  • Secobarbital
  • Siltuximab
  • Simeprevir
  • Sodium Oxybate
  • Sufentanil
  • Tapentadol
  • Thiopental
  • Voriconazole
  • Zolpidem

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aprepitant
  • Clarithromycin
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Diltiazem
  • Erythromycin
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fosaprepitant
  • Modafinil
  • Omeprazole
  • Perampanel
  • Ranitidine
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Roxithromycin
  • Rufinamide
  • St John's Wort
  • Theophylline
  • Troleandomycin

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Grapefruit Juice

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Ethanol

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Alcohol abuse, or history of, or
  • Drug abuse or dependence, or history of—Dependence on triazolam may develop.
  • Breathing problems or lung disease, severe or
  • Depression, or history of, or
  • Sleep apnea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of Halcion

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

Take triazolam just before going to bed, when you are ready to go to sleep.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For insomnia:
      • Adults—0.125 to 0.25 milligram (mg) at bedtime.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Precautions While Using Halcion

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Triazolam may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, hoarseness, nausea or vomiting, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth or throat while you are using this medicine.

Do not take itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), or nefazodone (Serzone®) while you are using this medicine. Taking these medicines together with triazolam may increase the chance of serious side effects.

If you develop any unusual or strange thoughts and behavior while taking triazolam, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people taking this medicine are like those seen in people who drink too much alcohol. Other changes might be confusion, worsening of depression, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.

This medicine may cause sleep-related behaviors such as driving a car (sleep-driving), walking (sleep-walking), having sex, making phone calls, or preparing and eating food while you are asleep or not fully awake. If these reactions occur, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. CNS depressants are medicines that slow down the nervous system, which may cause drowsiness or make you less alert. Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates (used for seizures); muscle relaxants; or anesthetics (numbing medicines), including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you stop taking this medicine. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert than they are normally. Even though triazolam is taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert the next morning. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy, not alert, or not able to think or see well.

Do not take this medicine when your schedule does not permit you to get a full night's sleep (7 to 8 hours). If you must wake up before this, you may continue to feel drowsy and have memory problems because the effects of the medicine have not had time to wear off.

Do not stop taking this medicine without checking with your doctor first. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. This may help prevent a worsening of your condition and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms, such as convulsions (seizures), stomach or muscle cramps, sweating, tremors, vomiting, or unusual behavior.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

If your condition does not improve within 7 to 10 days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.

Halcion Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
  • Shakiness and unsteady walk
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
Rare
  • Being forgetful
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • discouragement
  • false or unusual sense of well-being
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling sad or empty
  • hearing loss
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • nightmares
  • sleeplessness
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • actions that are out of control
  • aggressiveness
  • anxiety
  • changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • dark urine
  • decrease in frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • environment seems unreal
  • fainting
  • falling
  • false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts
  • feeling of unreality
  • fever
  • headache
  • hyperventilation
  • inability to move eyes
  • increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
  • increased muscle spasm
  • irregular heartbeats
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of memory
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • painful urination
  • problems with memory
  • rash
  • relaxed and calm
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • sense of detachment from self or body
  • shortness of breath
  • sleep walking
  • sleepiness
  • slurred speech
  • sticking out of tongue
  • talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
  • trouble in breathing, speaking, or swallowing
  • uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
  • unusual facial expressions
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Lightheadedness
Rare
  • Any change in vision
  • blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of skin
  • change in taste or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • cracked, dry, or scaly skin
  • cramps
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • dry mouth
  • swelling
  • weakness
Incidence not known
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increase in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • increase interest in sexual intercourse
  • itching skin
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • menstrual changes
  • redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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