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- What is triazolam, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for triazolam?
- Is triazolam available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for triazolam?
- What are the side effects of triazolam?
- What is the dosage for triazolam?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with triazolam?
- Is triazolam safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about triazolam?
What is triazolam, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Triazolam is a drug that is used to promote sleep in individuals who have difficulty sleeping (insomnia). It is in the benzodiazepine family of drugs, the same family that includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), and others. Insomnia is believed often to be the result of anxiety, a state in which the brain is excessively active. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a substance produced in the brain which inhibits (slows down) nerves and many of the activities of the brain. Triazolam and other benzodiazepines enhance the effects of GABA and thereby reduce activity in the brain and promote sleep. Triazolam was approved by the FDA in 1982.
What are the side effects of triazolam?
The most common side effects of triazolam are:
Other side effects include:
Quick GuideSleep Disorders: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and More
What is the dosage for triazolam?
Triazolam usually is prescribed once daily at bedtime to promote sleep.
- Individuals over the age of 65 years may require smaller doses to avoid side effects.
- The recommended dose is 0.125 to 0.25 mg at bedtime.
- The maximum dose is 0.5 mg at bedtime.
Which drugs or supplements interact with triazolam?
Benzodiazepines, including triazolam, add to the effects of other drugs that also inhibit activity within the brain, such as:
- narcotics, and
- some over-the-counter antihistamines (for example, diphenhydramine [Benadryl], chlorpheniramine maleate [Chlor-Trimeton]).
Combining the above drugs with benzodiazepines may cause excessive sedation.
Some drugs block the metabolism (elimination) of triazolam from the body, thereby raising the levels of triazolam in the body and causing excessive sedation. Such drugs include:
- cimetidine (Tagamet),
- erythromycin (E-Mycin; Estolate),
- clarithromycin (Biaxin),
- itraconazole (Sporanox),
- ketoconazole (Nizoral),
- fluconazole (Diflucan),
- telaprevir (Incivek),
- nelfinavir (Viracept),
- fluvoxamine (Luvox).
- Grapefruit juice can have a similar effect.
Phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), rifampin (Rifadin), and rifabutin (Mycobutin) increase the rate of elimination of triazolam from the body and can lead to a loss of triazolam's effectiveness.
Is triazolam safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Triazolam is contraindicated during pregnancy because benzodiazepines are associated with fetal abnormalities when used during pregnancy.
It is not known whether triazolam is secreted into human breast milk. Other benzodiazepines are, however, and it is likely that triazolam is as well. It should be avoided while breastfeeding.
What else should I know about triazolam?
What preparations of triazolam are available?
Tablets: 0.125mg and 0.25mg.
How should I keep triazolam stored?
Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideSleep Disorders: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and More
Triazolam (Halcion) is a prescription medication used to treat short-term insomnia. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing and storage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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20 Tips to Beat InsomniaGood sleep hygiene leads to better sleep. Avoid insomnia and sleep better by minimizing stress, exercising, and taking proper naps. Learn the health benefits of good sleep. Discover how pets, allergies, electronics, and other distractions can rob you of a good night's sleep.
alprazolamAlprazolam is a member of the benzodiazepine family, which are sedatives that cause dose-related depression of the central nervous system. Alprazolam is used for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, which cause:
- unrealistic worry and apprehension,
- shortness of breath,
- smothering sensation,
- cold clammy hands,
- exaggerated startle responses,
- problems concentrating, and
Benzodiazepine is the name of a class of drugs in the US. They belong to a class of man-made drugs prescribed to treat:
- Panic attacks
- Muscle spasms
Here is a list of examples of brand and generic names of benzodiazepines available in the US.
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clobazam (Onfi)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- clorazepate (Tranxene)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- diazepam (Valium)
- estazolam (Prosom)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- oxazepam (Serax)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
These drugs are habit forming and patients may become addicted to them even at prescribed doses. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Clonazepam (Klonopin) is an prescription medication used to treat panic disorder, certain types of seizures, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and the short-term relief of anxiety. Side effects include
Drug interactions, dosage, pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Diazepam (Valium, Diastat Acudial, Diastat, Diazepam Intensol) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders; and agitation, tremors, delirium, seizures and hallucinations that result from alcohol withdrawal. Side effects include:
Multiple drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Foods that Harm SleepCould a good night's sleep come down to your diet? Discover which foods stop sleep and which foods promote restful slumber.
Hypnotics Drug Class Side Effects
Hypnotics are sleep medications used to treat different types of insomnia. There are a variety of hypnotic drugs, and they are grouped into five types. Benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, selective melatonin agonists (these three drug types are classified as sedatives), antidepressants, and an orexin receptor agonist. Some hypnotics can be addictive and may cause withdrawal symptoms if discontinued abruptly.
The side effects of hypnotics depend upon the drug used, but they may include:
- Dry mouth
- Rebound insomnia
Other side effects may include:
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Upset stomach
- Abnormal dreams
Hypnotics may have serious side effects and adverse effects, for example:
- Abnormal thinking
- Suicidal thinking
- Sleep paralysis
- Sleep driving and other complex behavior
- Exfoliate dermatitis
Hypnotic drugs available over-the-counter (OTC) include diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine (Unisom). Natural herbal supplements used for insomnia are melatonin and Valerian.
Do not drink alcohol while taking hypnotic drugs. Stimulants like caffeine or amphetamines reduce the effect of insomnia medications.
Your doctor or other health care professional will recommend the type of hypnotic drug for you depending upon the type of sleep problem you have, your current lifestyle habits, other medications you are taking, and any other medical problems you may have.
FDA. "Sleep Disorder (Sedative-Hypnotic) Drug Information." Updated: Jun 13, 2017.
Chawala, J, MD. "Insomnia Medication." Medscape. Updated: Aug 01, 2016.
InsomniaInsomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Secondary insomnia is the most common type of insomnia. Treatment for insomnia include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.
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Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription drug used for the management of anxiety disorders, short-term relief of anxiety, or anxiety associated with depression. Ativan is effective for insomnia, panic attacks, and is used for prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Side effects include:
- Loss of orientation
- Sleep disturbance
It is important to be aware of the drug interactions related to Lorazepam (Ativan), and the effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Problem SleepinessWhen sleepiness interferes with daily routines and activities, or reduces the ability to function, it is called "problem sleepiness." A person can have problem sleepiness without realizing it. Symptoms of problem sleepiness include: consistently don't get enough sleep, or poor quality sleep, fall asleep while driving, struggle to stay awake when inactive (like watching TV or reading), have difficulty paying attention or concentrating at work, school, or home, have poor performance problems at work or school, have difficulty remembering things, have slowed responses, have difficulty controlling your emotions, and/or if you have to take naps on most days.
Restless Leg SyndromeRestless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more noticeable at rest. This characteristic nighttime worsening can frequently lead to insomnia. Treatment of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome is generally with medication as well as treating any underlying condition causing restless leg syndrome.
Take the RLS QuizRestless leg syndrome (RLS), an annoying, sometimes painful disorder that keeps millions of people awake at night. What are the symptoms of restless le syndrome? Take the quiz to find out!
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include:
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Concentration or memory problems
Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Sleep Aids And StimulantsInsomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children and TeensSleep needs in children and teenagers depend on the age of the child. Sleep disorders in children such as:
- sleep apnea,
- confusional arousals,
- night terrors,
- narcolepsy, and
- tween, or
Sleep DisordersLearn about the different types of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Explore the symptoms, causes, tests and treatments of sleep disorders.
Take the Sleep QuizTake our Sleeping Quiz to learn which sleep disorders, causes, and symptoms rule the night. Trouble falling or staying asleep? Find out which medical treatments fight sleep deprivation, apnea, insomnia, and more!