Generic Name: triazolam (trye AY zoe lam)
Brand Name: Halcion
What is Halcion (triazolam)?
Triazolam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen) similar to Valium. Triazolam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause sleep problems (insomnia).
Triazolam is used to treat insomnia symptoms, such as trouble falling or staying asleep.
Triazolam may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Halcion (triazolam)?
Triazolam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Before taking triazolam, tell your doctor if you have any breathing problems, glaucoma, kidney or liver disease, myasthenia gravis, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Triazolam may cause a severe allergic reaction. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some people using this medication have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking triazolam and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.
Contact your doctor if your insomnia does not improve after taking triazolam for 7 to 10 nights, or if you have any mood or behavior changes. Insomnia can be a symptom of depression, mental illness, or certain medical conditions.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Halcion (triazolam)?
Some people using this medication have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking triazolam and talk with your doctor.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to triazolam or similar medications, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane), or lorazepam (Ativan).
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. The following drugs should not be used while you are taking triazolam:
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) or erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin);
an antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral); or
medication to treat hepatitis C , HIV, or AIDS.
To make sure triazolam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
kidney or liver disease;
myasthenia gravis; or
a history of depression, drug or alcohol addiction, or suicidal thoughts or actions.
Triazolam may be habit forming. Never share triazolam with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use triazolam if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication.
It is not known whether triazolam passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using this medication.
The sedative effects of triazolam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking triazolam.
How should I take Halcion (triazolam)?
Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take triazolam only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine.
Take triazolam on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours after a meal.
Triazolam is usually taken only for a short time. Call your doctor if your insomnia does not improve after taking triazolam for 7 to 10 nights, or if you have any mood or behavior changes. Insomnia can be a symptom of depression, mental illness, or certain medical conditions.
Do not stop using triazolam suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using triazolam.
Your insomnia symptoms may return when you stop using triazolam after using it over a long period of time. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Triazolam is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since triazolam is taken as needed, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule. Take triazolam only when you have time for several hours of sleep.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of triazolam can be fatal, especially if taken with alcohol.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, weak or shallow breathing, fainting, or coma.
What should I avoid while taking Halcion (triazolam)?
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking triazolam. It can increase some of the side effects, and could possibly cause a fatal overdose.
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with triazolam and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Halcion (triazolam) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
feeling like you might pass out;
staggering walk, loss of balance or coordination, very stiff (rigid) muscles;
agitation, anxiety, confusion, slurred speech, hallucinations, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness;
chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, feeling short of breath;
problems with urination;
vision problems, burning in your eyes; or
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Other common side effects may include:
dizziness, tired feeling, daytime drowsiness (or during hours when you are not normally sleeping);
headache, depressed mood, memory problems;
numbness or tingly feeling;
feeling nervous, excited, or irritable;
changes in your menstrual periods;
mild itching; or
increased or decreased interest in sex.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Halcion side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Halcion (triazolam)?
Cold or allergy medicine, other sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by triazolam.
Tell your doctor about all medications you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with triazolam, especially:
birth control pills;
clozapine (Clozaril, FazaClo);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis); or
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with triazolam, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More Halcion resources
Compare Halcion with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about triazolam.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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