Generic Name: triazolam (trye-AZ-oh-lam) (Oral route)
Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing for patients with inadequate alternative treatment options. Limit dosage and duration to the minimum required and follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation .
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on July 14, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Hypnotic
Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Short or Intermediate Acting
Uses for Halcion
Triazolam is used to treat insomnia (trouble in sleeping). This medicine is for short-term (usually 7 to 10 days) use only. 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Calcium Oxybate
- Chloral Hydrate
- Gabapentin Enacarbil
- Magnesium Oxybate
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Potassium Oxybate
- Sodium Oxybate
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.
- Ethinyl Estradiol
- St John's Wort
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.
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
- Breathing problems or lung disease, severe or
- Depression, or history of or
- Drug abuse or dependence, 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.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Do not take this medicine with or right after a meal.
Take triazolam just before going to bed, when you are ready to go to sleep. This medicine works very quickly to put you to sleep.
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 may experience memory problems, because the effects of the medicine have not had time to wear off.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
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. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 0.5 mg per day.
- Older adults—At first, 0.125 mg at bedtime. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 0.25 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For insomnia:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Use this medicine only when you cannot sleep. You do not need to keep a schedule for taking it. Do not use two doses at the same time.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
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 and to check for any unwanted effects.
If your condition does not improve within 7 to 10 days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
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.
Do not take itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), nefazodone (Serzone®), or certain HIV medicines (eg, indinavir, nelfinavir, lopinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Kaletra®, Norvir®) while you are using this medicine. Using these medicines together with triazolam may increase the chance of serious side effects.
Triazolam may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. 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.
This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
This medicine may cause you to do things while you are still asleep that you may not remember the next morning. It is possible you could drive a car, sleepwalk, have sex, make phone calls, or prepare and eat food while you are asleep or not fully awake. Tell your doctor right away if you learn that any of these has happened.
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, which may lead to falls. Even though triazolam is taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert the next morning. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
Do not stop using this medicine without checking first with your doctor. 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.
If you develop any unusual and strange thoughts or behavior while you are using triazolam, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people using this medicine are like those seen in people who drink alcohol and then act in a manner that is not normal. Other changes may be more unusual and extreme, such as confusion, worsening of depression, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.
If you think you or someone else may have taken an overdose of this medicine, get emergency help at once. Taking an overdose of triazolam or taking alcohol or other CNS depressants with triazolam may lead to serious breathing problems and unconsciousness. Some signs of an overdose include: severe drowsiness, severe nausea or vomiting, staggering, and troubled breathing.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant may cause neonatal withdrawal syndrome in your newborn babies. Tell your doctor right away if your baby has an abnormal sleep pattern, diarrhea, a high-pitched cry, irritability, shakiness or tremors, weight loss, vomiting, or fails to gain weight.
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.
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:
- Shakiness and unsteady walk
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- Being forgetful
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
- false or unusual sense of well-being
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- feeling sad or empty
- hearing loss
- lack of appetite
- loss of interest or pleasure
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
Incidence not known
- Actions that are out of control
- changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
- chest pain
- 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)
- dry mouth
- environment seems unreal
- false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts
- feeling of unreality
- inability to move the eyes
- increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
- increased muscle spasm
- irregular heartbeat
- loss of bladder control
- loss of memory
- painful urination
- problems with memory
- relaxed and calm feeling
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- sense of detachment from self or body
- sleep walking
- slurred speech
- sticking out of tongue
- stomach pain
- talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
- trouble 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:
- Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
- change in taste, or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- change in vision
- cracked, dry, or scaly skin
- difficulty having a bowel movement
- dry mouth
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.
More about Halcion (triazolam)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 28 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: benzodiazepines
- FDA Alerts (2)
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