Generic name: TriazolamBrand names: Halcion
Halcion is used for short-term treatment of insomnia. It is a member of the benzodiazepine class of drugs, many of which are used as tranquilizers.
Sleep problems are usually temporary, requiring treatment for only a short time, usually 1 or 2 days and no more than 1 to 2 weeks. Insomnia that lasts longer than this may be a sign of another medical problem. If you find you need this medicine for more than 7 to 10 days, be sure to check with your doctor.
Take Halcion exactly as directed; never take more than your doctor has prescribed.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Halcion.
You should not take Halcion if you are pregnant or if you have had an allergic reaction to it or to other benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium.
Also avoid Halcion if you are taking the antifungal medications itraconazole, or ketoconazole, or the antidepressant nefazodone.
When Halcion is used every night for more than a few weeks, it loses its effectiveness to help you sleep. This is known as tolerance. Also, it can cause dependence, especially when it is used regularly for longer than a few weeks or at high doses.
Abrupt discontinuation of Halcion should be avoided, since it has been associated with withdrawal symptoms (convulsions, cramps, tremor, vomiting, sweating, feeling ill, perceptual problems, and insomnia). A gradual dosage tapering schedule is usually recommended for patients taking more than the lowest dose of Halcion for longer than a few weeks. The usual treatment period is 7 to 10 days.
If you develop unusual and disturbing thoughts or behavior—including increased anxiety or depression—during treatment with Halcion, you should discuss them with your doctor immediately.
"Traveler's amnesia" has been reported by patients who took Halcion to induce sleep while traveling. To avoid this condition, do not take Halcion on an overnight airplane flight of less than 7 to 8 hours.
You may suffer increased anxiety during the daytime while taking Halcion.
When you first start taking Halcion, until you know whether the medication will have any carry over effect the next day, use extreme care while doing anything that requires complete alertness such as driving a car or operating machinery.
After discontinuing the drug, you may experience rebound insomnia for the first 2 nights—that is, insomnia may be worse than before you took the sleeping pill.
You should be aware that anterograde amnesia (forgetting events after an injury) has been associated with benzodiazepine drugs such as Halcion.
You should be cautious about using Halcion if you have liver or kidney problems, lung problems, or a tendency to temporarily stop breathing while you are asleep.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and grapefruit juice.
If Halcion is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Halcion with the following:AmiodaroneAntidepressant medications, including tricyclic drugs such as amitriptyline, and MAO inhibitors such as phenelzine and tranylcypromineAntihistamines such as clemastine and diphenhydramineBarbiturates such as phenobarbital and secobarbitalCimetidineClarithromycinCyclosporineDiltiazemErgotamineErythromycinFluvoxamineIsoniazidItraconazoleKetoconazoleNarcotic painkillers such as meperidineMajor tranquilizers such as chlorpromazine and thioridazineNefazodoneNicardipineNifedipineOther tranquilizers such as alprazolam, buspirone, and diazepamOral contraceptivesParoxetineRanitidineSeizure medications such as carbamazepine and phenytoinSertralineVerapamil
Since benzodiazepines have been associated with damage to the developing baby, you should not take Halcion if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant; or if you are breastfeeding.
The usual dose is 0.25 milligram before bedtime. The dose should never be more than 0.5 milligram.
Safety and effectiveness for children under the age of 18 have not been established.
To decrease the possibility of oversedation, dizziness, or impaired coordination, the usual starting dose is 0.125 milligram. This may be increased to 0.25 milligram if necessary.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. Severe overdosage of Halcion can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately.