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  • Triazolam (brand name Halcion) is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant used on a short-term basis for the treatment of insomnia. 

    As stated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Halcion is a benzodiazepine prescription drug considered to be a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means it has some potential to be abused.

    Those who take Halcion may experience a number of side effects as well as drug interactions. Sedation and impairment can take place, as well as more severe side effects.

    Side Effects Of Halcion

    There are a number of common side effects of Halcion. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of these side effects may include:

    • drowsiness
    • lightheadedness
    • headache
    • impairment
    • dizziness
    • difficulty with coordination
    • low blood pressure
    • memory loss

    Long-Term Side Effects

    Long-term use can lead to the worsening of side effects of triazolam. In fact, those who take this benzodiazepine over long-periods of time may experience:

    • sleepwalking
    • physical dependence
    • aggressiveness
    • low blood pressure
    • hallucinations
    • slowed speech

    Withdrawal Symptoms

    Those who abruptly stop the use of Halcion can experience various withdrawal symptoms. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states some of these withdrawal symptoms may consist of:

    • daytime anxiety
    • rebound insomnia
    • tremors
    • seizures
    • severe cravings for the drug
    • increased heart rate
    • increased blood pressure
    • agitation

    Halcion Overdose

    A life-threatening overdose can occur if a person abuses Halcion. Those who take more doses of the drug than prescribed and those who combine Halcion with other medications like opioids can be more at risk of developing serious side effects like overdose.

    Symptoms of a Halcion overdose may include:

    • extreme sleepiness
    • trouble breathing
    • increase in body temperature
    • fluctuations in blood pressure
    • loss of consciousness
    • confusion
    • slurred speech

    If you suspect an overdose has taken place, contact 911 and seek immediate medical attention.

    Halcion Warnings

    There are a number of warnings you should be aware of before taking Halcion. For instance, allergic reactions may occur when certain medications are taken with Halcion.

    Infectious Disease Medications

    Those who have HIV, AIDS, or hepatitis C and take certain prescription medications should speak with their doctor before taking Halcion. The doctor prescribing your medication can determine the dosage, if any, is needed.

    Some of these medications include:

    • nelfinavir (Viracept)
    • saquinavir (Invirase)
    • indinavir (Crixivan)
    • ritonavir (Norvir)
    • lopinavir (in Kaletra)

    Sleep Apnea

    Those who suffer from sleep apnea or other health problems that affect your breathing such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), should speak with their doctor regarding Halcion, as breathing problems can occur.

    Halcion depresses the CNS and creates relaxation. When abused, Halcion can lead to respiratory depression. Those with sleep apnea and other conditions may need to avoid this medication.


    For those who take Halcion and become pregnant, contact your doctor right away. In addition to this, women who are breastfeeding should be aware of the transference of Halcion from breast milk to their child. This may lead to withdrawal symptoms for the baby.

    Halcion Drug Interactions

    Triazolam interactions can occur if other benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and lorazepam (Ativan) are combined with the drug.

    Those taking Halcion should also avoid taking the following substances:

    • opioids
    • antihistamines
    • alcohol
    • nefazodone
    • grapefruit juice
    • isoniazid (Laniazid)
    • cimetidine (Tagamet)
    • some antibiotics such as erythromycin (E-mycin, Erythrocin) and clarithromycin (Biaxin)
    • supplements or vitamins
    • muscle relaxants
    • certain antifungal medications such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox, Onmel)
    • antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

    Speak with your healthcare provider before combining these substances with Halcion.

    If you or a loved one struggle with prescription drug abuse, contact us today to learn how our healthcare professionals can help.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food and Drug Administration - Halcion
    Korean Journal of Anesthesiology - The effect of triazolam premedication on anxiety, sedation, and amnesia in general anesthesia
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - What are prescription CNS depressants?
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Triazolam

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on October 20, 2022
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