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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 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?
The most common side effects of triazolam are:
Other side effects include:
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.
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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.
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).
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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Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause of 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.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
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: Irritability Tiredness 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.
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Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia 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.
When 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.
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Sleep needs in children and teenagers depend on the age of the child. Sleep disorders in children such as: sleep apnea, parasomnias, confusional arousals, night terrors, nightmares, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking which can affect a child's or teen's sleep. Healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene can help your infant, toddler, preschooler, tween, or teenager get a good night's sleep.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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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