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Halcion Withdrawal

Halcion is the brand name for triazolam, a benzodiazepine medication that’s used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and issues that cause convulsions. However, Halcion can lead to chemical dependency and addiction when it’s taken for too long or abused. 

If you become dependent on the drug and then stop using it abruptly, it can cause potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Halcion is a central nervous system depressant, which is the only major drug category that is known to cause deadly withdrawal symptoms. Learn more about Halcion withdrawal and how it can be safely treated. 

What Are Halcion Withdrawal Symptoms?

Halcion works by interacting with a natural chemical messenger in the brain called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). The drug makes this chemical more effective at suppressing nervous system excitability in the brain. 

As you develop a chemical dependency on it, your brain gets used to the drug. If you stop suddenly, you’ll feel the effects of a chemical imbalance in your body, causing nervous system overactivity. Severe symptoms can cause seizures and delirium tremens, which is characterized by sudden confusion, panic, and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Other symptoms are:

  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Shaky hands
  • Body aches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hallucinations 
  • Headaches

What Are the Stages in the Halcion Withdrawal Timeline?

  • 24 hours: Halcion has a relatively short half-life between one to 5.5 hours. After that, it will be less effective in your body, and you may soon experience your first withdrawal symptoms. Early symptoms may include insomnia and anxiety, and symptoms usually worsen over the next few days.
  • 4 days: After four days off the medication, you might start to experience peak withdrawal symptoms. This is when withdrawal is at its worst. Peak symptoms may include extreme confusion, general discomfort, jitteriness, and tremors. Seizures and heart-related complications are possible without treatment. 
  • 10 days: After your symptoms peak, they’ll start to wear off. In many cases, anxiety and other psychological symptoms last the longest. You may also have drug cravings and compulsions to use Halcion again.
  • 1 month: In some cases, seizures can happen in the post-acute withdrawal phase, or after your initial withdrawal symptoms have passed. Other symptoms like insomnia and anxiety, may linger along with cravings. You may need continued treatment to address them effectively. 

Do I Need Detox?

As a central nervous system depressant, Halcion can cause potentially harmful effects during withdrawal. Seizures and delirium tremens can lead to life-threatening complications. The safest way to get through depressant withdrawal is to seek medical attention. 

Medical detox is the highest level that’s available in addiction treatment. In detox, you would have access to 24-hour medically managed support, including interventions with medication when necessary. 

Detox can help you avoid dangerous symptoms or manage them if they occur. The prognosis for delirium tremens greatly improves with medical treatment. Though depressants like Halcion are the most likely drug category to cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, not every going through withdrawal needs detox. When you enter a treatment program or speak with your doctor, medical evaluations can help determine your appropriate level of care.

Sources

Halcion. (2019, October 21). Halcion (Triazolam): Side Effects, Interactions, Warning, Dosage & Uses. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/halcion-drug.htm

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016, February). 8: Medical detoxification. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/7-medical-detoxification

RxList. (2018, February 6). Benzodiazepines Drug Class: Side Effects, Types & Uses. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/benzodiazepines/drug-class.htm

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019, December 2). Delirium tremens: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000766.htm

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2004, September 16). gamma-Aminobutyric acid. Retrieved from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/gamma-Aminobutyric-acid

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