Generic Name:  triazolam

Brand Names: HalcionMedically

Halcion 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.

Halcion is used to treat insomnia. This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

Pharmacokinetics

Triazolam is rapidly absorbed after oral administration, with peak plasma concentrations occurring within 1-2 hours. It undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism in the liver and only about 20% of the dose reaches the systemic circulation unchanged. The mean elimination half-life is 2.6 hours, but may range from 1.5 to 10 hours. Triazolam and its metabolites are excreted primarily in the urine; both parent drug and metabolites are highly bound to plasma proteins (>99%).

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, or waking up too early in the morning. If you have insomnia, you may feel irritable or drowsy during the day. Insomnia can be caused by anxiety, depression, or other physical or mental problems.

Triazolam is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia (generally 7-10 days). Longer term use generally is not recommended because of the risk of dependence on triazolam. The physician should reassess periodically the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Triazolam is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to this drug and in patients with acute narrow-angle glaucoma. Triazolam also is contraindicated in patients with a history of substance abuse.

Triazolam is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to this drug and in patients with acute narrow-angle glaucoma. Triazolam also is contraindicated in patients with a history of substance abuse.

WARNINGS

A diagnosis of insomnia should be made only after a careful history has been taken to rule out conditions that may mimic insomnia (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS). In some cases, insomnia may be the manifestation of an underlying physical and/or psychiatric disorder. Administration of triazolam in these cases should only occur after such disorders have been excluded. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7-10 days generally indicates that the insomnia is of primary psychiatric origin.

The occurrence of untoward reactions with triazolam generally is dose related (seeDOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). As with all hypnotic drugs, caution should be exercised when administering Halcion to elderly or debilitated patients, since they may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. The recommended starting dose for such patients is 0.125 mg before retiring.

Benzodiazepines can cause fetal damage when administered to pregnant women in their first trimester. Administration of benzodiazepines to pregnant women during their first trimester can result in cleft palate and other facial abnormalities, microcephaly, growth retardation, and congenital abnormalities. When given later in pregnancy, benzodiazepines can cause floppy infant syndrome. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies on pregnant women. Halcion should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of triazolam are drowsiness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. These effects usually disappear with continued use. Other side effects that have been reported include:

-confusion

-sleepwalking

-nightmares

-memory problems

-depression

-anxiety

-nervousness

– aggression

-irritability

Rare side effects that have been reported include:

– slurred speech

– impaired coordination

– slowed reaction time

– difficulty urinating

– skin rash

Triazolam may cause serious side effects, including:

– anterograde amnesia (memory loss for events occurring after the administration of triazolam)

– sleep driving (driving while not fully awake after taking a hypnotic drug)

– making and eating food while asleep

– engaging in other activities while asleep

These activities can occur with no memory of the event the next day. If you experience any of these side effects, do not drive or operate machinery, and contact your healthcare provider right away.

Triazolam may be habit forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer period than prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking triazolam suddenly without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken it for several weeks or longer. You may have withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, shaking, sweating, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and headaches if you stop taking triazolam suddenly. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.

Dosage and Administration

The usual adult dose of triazolam is 0.25-0.5 mg before retiring. The recommended starting dose for elderly or debilitated patients is 0.125 mg before retiring. The recommended dose should not be exceeded, and the patient should be carefully monitored during treatment. Triazolam should be taken only as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer period than prescribed by your doctor.

If you miss a dose of triazolam, take it as soon as possible unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, do not take the missed dose; go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Overdose

If you experience these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or local poison control center immediately. Symptoms of overdose may also include:

– seizures

– coma

– death

Storage

Store triazolam at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep triazolam out of the reach of children and pets.