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All about: Halcion

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Generic Name: triazolam (trye AY zoe lam)
Brand Names: Halcion

What is Halcion (triazolam)?

Triazolam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). 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 purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Halcion (triazolam)?

Triazolam may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking triazolam and 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. Take triazolam only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine.

Some people using this medicine 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.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to triazolam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or lorazepam (Ativan). This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby, or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Do not use triazolam if you are pregnant.

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.

Do not drink alcohol while taking triazolam. It can increase some of the side effects, and could possibly cause a fatal overdose.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy. They can add to sleepiness caused by triazolam.

Triazolam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Triazolam should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Halcion (triazolam)?

Some people using this medicine 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.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to triazolam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or lorazepam (Ativan).

Before taking triazolam, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;

  • glaucoma;

  • kidney or liver disease;

  • myasthenia gravis;

  • a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use triazolam, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Triazolam can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. It may also cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes triazolam late in pregnancy. Do not use triazolam if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. Triazolam may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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.

Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old.

How should I take Halcion (triazolam)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take triazolam only when you are getting ready for several hours of sleep. You may fall asleep very quickly after taking the medicine. Contact your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. Triazolam should be used for only a short time to treat insomnia. After 7 to 10 nights of use, talk with your doctor about whether or not you should keep taking triazolam. Do not take this medication for longer than 4 weeks without your doctor's advice.

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.

Triazolam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Triazolam should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Store triazolam at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of how many tablets have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Benzodiazepines are drugs of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this 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 if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of triazolam can be fatal, especially if taken with alcohol.

Symptoms of a triazolam overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, slurred speech, tremors, a slow heartbeat, shallow breathing, feeling light-headed, fainting, seizure (black-out or convulsions), 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. Triazolam can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by triazolam.

Halcion (triazolam) side effects

Triazolam may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking triazolam and 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. Stop using triazolam and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • confusion, slurred speech, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • hallucinations, agitation, aggression;

  • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;

  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • problems with urination; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Continue taking triazolam and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • daytime drowsiness (or during hours when you are not normally sleeping);

  • amnesia or forgetfulness;

  • muscle weakness, lack of balance or coordination;

  • numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling;

  • headache, blurred vision, depressed mood;

  • feeling nervous, excited, or irritable;

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort; or

  • dry mouth, increased thirst.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Halcion (triazolam)?

Before taking triazolam, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:

  • birth control pills;

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • grapefruit juice;

  • ranitidine (Zantac);

  • antiobiotics such as isoniazid, itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • antidepressants such as fluvoxamine (Luvox), nefazodone (Serzone), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft);

  • ergotamine (Ergomar, Ergostat, Cafergot, Ercaf, Wigraine); or

  • heart medications such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), diltiazem (Cardizem, Tartia, Tiazac), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), or verapamil (Calan, Covera).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use triazolam, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect triazolam. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about triazolam written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Triazolam is available with a prescription under the brand name Halcion. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Halcion 0.125 mg--white, elliptical tablets

  • Halcion 0.25 mg--powder-blue, elliptical, scored tablets

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02. Revision Date: 04/25/2007 10:36:41 AM.

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