Updated on November 15, 2023
4 min read

What is Halcion (Triazolam) and How Dangerous Is It?

What is Halcion (Triazolam)?

Halcion is the brand name for the generic drug triazolam. It’s a benzodiazepine (benzo) typically used to treat insomnia.1 It’s also considered a Schedule IV controlled substance with a low potential for abuse.5

Halcion has sedative properties, which can be used as a muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant. Doctors may also prescribe it to people undergoing procedures such as:1

  • An MRI scan
  • Non-surgical dental procedures
  • Short airline flights for 1-2 hours of sleep

Like other benzodiazepines, it affects the central nervous system (CNS) and regulates brain function. This helps slow down brain activity, promoting deeper sleep and fewer anxiety symptoms.1

Risks of Halcion Use

Although it has a low potential for abuse, it’s possible to get addicted or dependent on Halcion. Especially if you take the medication for longer than suggested. You can also become addicted if you take it without a prescription.2

Signs of Halcion abuse include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Unsteady walking and coordination impairment
  • Slurred speech
  • Concentration and memory loss
  • Sleep problems
  • Behavior changes
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Breathing problems
  • Muscle cramps

In addition to abuse risks, Halcion can also cause allergic reactions. If you’re allergic to the following, you may be allergic to Halcion:

  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Tranxene (clorazepate)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)

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Halcion Addiction Symptoms

Because Halcion affects the CNS, it can trigger intense feelings of pleasure. Some people may abuse Halcion for this sense of euphoria.

Symptoms of Halcion abuse and addiction include:2

  • Using the drug even when there are negative consequences and side effects
  • Trying unsuccessfully to stop drug use
  • Shopping for multiple doctors to provide prescriptions
  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Experiencing mood change or extreme mood swings
  • Making risky decisions or using poor judgment
  • Becoming secretive or withdrawing from friends and family
  • Disregarding responsibilities
  • Declining school or work performance
  • Making the drug a priority over everything else

Halcion Addiction Side Effects

Ongoing use results in a chronic brain disease that causes serious mental and physical health complications. This can make it more difficult to stop using the drug.1,2

Halcion addiction can lead to:

  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Declines in overall mental and physical health
  • Mood swings
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Physical dependence
  • Withdrawal symptoms

These symptoms can occur for six months after a person stops using Halcion.

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Halcion Withdrawal Symptoms

If you become dependent on Halcion, you might experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is often unpleasant and dangerous.

Halcion withdrawal symptoms include:3,4

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • More frequent and intense anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

Treatment for Halcion Addiction

Treatment plans for Halcion addiction require medical supervision, support, and therapy. This will help you learn coping skills to help maintain sobriety and prevent a relapse.

Available treatment options for Halcion addiction include:

  • Medical detox: Medically supervised detox used to avoid harmful withdrawal effects
  • Inpatient treatment: Involves checking yourself into a rehab facility for 24-hour medical supervision 
  • Outpatient treatment: A treatment plan where you’re freely allowed to leave the rehab facility 
  • Addiction therapies: 
  • Dual-diagnosis treatment: A treatment program that addresses co-occurring mental health conditions alongside addiction
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): A short-term therapy technique that explores the link between thought patterns and addiction
  • Support groups: Provide a much-needed community to help maintain sobriety after treatment

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Halcion Side Effects

There have been some cases of temporary memory loss from people who take Halcion to fall asleep while traveling. This is called ‘traveler’s amnesia,’ and happens after taking short-acting hypnotics such as alprazolam and zolpidem.

Halcion can trigger mild side effects such as:1

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Memory impairment
  • Depression
  • Visual disturbances
  • Trouble urinating
  • Nausea

Rare Side Effects of Halcion

Halcion also has rare effects, including:1

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Weakness

Halcion might also result in mild to moderate impairment the day after it’s taken. You should also avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication because it can worsen the side effects of Halcion.2

Halcion Drug Interactions

Halcion can interact with other substances and change the drug’s effects. Combining Halcion with opioids can lead to respiratory depression, which can be fatal.2

Meanwhile, mixing alcohol and Halcion can lead to oversedation and death. Mixing Halcion with other drugs can increase the risk of developing a substance use disorder.2,5

Because of this, Halcion should also never be mixed with:1

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Itraconazole
  • HIV inhibitors
  • Antihistamines
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Ethanol
  • Ketoconazole
  • Nefazodone
  • Fluconazole
  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampicin
  • Cimetidine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Telithromycin
  • Ritonavir
  • Lopinavir
  • Nelfinavir
  • Indinavir
  • Isoniazid
  • Saquinavir
  • Grapefruit juice


Halcion, or triazolam, is a prescription medication used for treating insomnia. It’s a controlled substance with a low potential for abuse.

Halcion can also interact with other drugs and alcohol, leading to harmful side effects. 

Although the potential is low, there is still a potential for abuse and addiction.

Halcion abuse can lead to serious risks such as physical dependence and withdrawal. Fortunately, there are treatment programs that can help you detox and recover from Halcion addiction.

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Updated on November 15, 2023

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