Insomnia is More Desirable Than Side Effects of Halcion

by | Apr 19, 2013

Halcion is a psychiatric drug used to treat insomnia and sometimes to reduce anxiety before dental work.  It is a benzodiazepine which means it is a sedative hypnotic.  It basically makes your central nervous system go into low gear so that you can go to sleep or be relaxed before dental work.
That being said, all the negative information about Halcion is not common knowledge, nor is it promoted anywhere.  It is important to know all about any drug and its side effects so one can decide if it is worth taking to handle one’s condition.  Insomnia is not to be taken lightly as most know how difficult it is to function without sleep.  However, the dangerous adverse side effects of Halcion make insomnia sound inviting.
Ask yourself if any of the following side effects are worth taking Halcion to get some sleep:  amnesia, hallucinations, rage, violent and bizarre behavior, depression, aggressiveness, severe allergic reactions, anxiety, confusion, hostility, psychosis, addiction to the drug and even death.  One could experience abnormal thoughts and behavior such as getting out of bed and doing something one doesn’t recall later!  
Halcion and other benzodiazepines are not meant to be taken long-term, but it does often happen.  Halcion is basically ineffective after two weeks, but people still take it for longer periods of time.  This makes no sense as the longer one is on Halcion the more side effects one can expect.  One can become addicted, yet there is no evidence that Halcion is safe or effective in the long-term.  A person may experience a few days or weeks of calm, only to then experience non-stop heightened anxiety, more insomnia, suicidal depression and the epitome of misery in “another world’s timeless hell.” 
Hopefully this is graphic enough, but if not, there is more to be known about Halcion.  It falls into the nightmare category as withdrawal from it can be more difficult than heroin, which most know is gut-wrenching and horrendous.  On top of that, a recent study identified thirty-one drugs that are disproportionately linked to violent behavior.  Halcion came in at number seven!  These are pretty grim facts that clearly indicate that Halcion is a dangerous drug that can make you worse off than you were before.
It should be noted at this point that we are all relatively educated on the dangers of “street” drugs, yet we are not educated about the dangers of psychiatric drugs.  Why is that?  We should be, especially since they are legal.  Drug companies make billions of dollars from sales of their drugs so it is likely drug companies hope that less information means more sales.  In this case, what you don’t now will hurt you.   Sure, side effects are published and are listed quickly in advertisements, but they are not stressed or given the attention they warrant.   After all, the drug company wants a quick sale and that sale is quite profitable as Halcion and other benzodiazepines sell for more than cocaine and heroin.  
Instead, the FDA endorses the safety and effectiveness of Halcion despite evidence to the contrary.  They know that Halcion has a higher rate of adverse side effects than other sleeping pills.  Britain has banned the drug, but the United States seems to think it is safe despite lawsuits, devastating results and short-term trials.
People think the FDA thoroughly test a drug objectively when they don’t.  The drug companies run clinical trials and in the case of Halcion and other benzodiazepines, the trials are only four to ten weeks.  Perhaps there are no long-term studies by the drug companies because they are following the “ignorance is bliss” theory.  Why ruffle feathers and let the dangers be known when that can threaten profits?
Upjohn is the manufacturer of Halcion and they have not exactly put forth any caution regarding their drug.  They attacked any negative research and even worse they exerted quite an effort to make sure the public was not fully aware of all the adverse side effects.  Does this make you confident that Upjohn is looking out for your health and welfare?
It is so much easier for them to do what is legal and that is to present just a few positive trials to the FDA despite many negative trials and sit back and wait for the drug to be approved.  There really is no watchdog group over psychiatric drugs or any other prescription drugs for that matter.  Objectivity and full disclosure are not required so they are dropped and replaced with the drive for profits. 
The truth is that psychiatric drugs don’t cure anything.  They only mask symptoms and create devastating side effects.  It would be wise to find the cause of the lack of sleep instead of taking Halcion or any other similar drug.  There are plenty of reasons for not sleeping and plenty of non-psychiatric tools and remedies available these days.  Get yourself educated so you can make an informed decision on what’s best for your good night’s sleep.


  1. George Dawkins

    I have taken Halcion (Triazolam) for 25 years without side effects. I take half of 0.25 before bed and the other half after I wake up around 2 AM to use bathroom. It works for me, and I have no hangover during the day.

    • Steve Coppella

      I have taken 2x 0.25 mg of Triazolam (Halcion) at night for 20+ years. I have never had a side effect nor interaction with another drug. It is the only prescription of 12 that I have tried that had a positive impact on my insomnia. The effect of Halcion is very subtle, it does not calm me down, it does not “put me sleep”, it simply unlocks a door in my head which I can walk through and slowly fall asleep. For me the alternative is a complete lack of sleep. Twice I have been off Halcion for >30 days straight and both times it was Hell on earth not being able to sleep. I am extremely concerned that the availability of Halcion is becoming more scarce and soon may not be available, at which time I will be at my wits end as nothing else has helped my insomnia in the least.

  2. JAR

    color me the lucky recipient of the worst side effects
    If halcion doses are
    . 25
    . 50
    And long term use is bad at these doses
    why was i on:
    halcion 4mg nightly
    8mg dilauded every 4-6hrs
    75mcg fentanyl path changed every two days
    80mg oxycontin IR every 4-6hrs
    Plus 9 additional supporting medications to treat side effects of the above. ..
    For nearly six (6) years
    (Single doctor.
    A former army doc turned civilian provider .)
    I am five years into alternative treatments, but the damage is done.
    I am still suffering.
    The nightmare of halcion and opioids hasn’t ended yet. .
    And that doctor is still treating patients, military and civilian alike.
    Reporting it to the army inspector generals office resulted
    “we’re sorry this happened to you, its unfortunate you slipped through the cracks… but you need to let it go.. .
    Pursuing this won’t do anyone any good.
    Forget it happened and move on with your life”
    i record all calls… and interactions for transcription.
    I forget too much otherwise
    Dont become me.
    Know what your doctor is doing by having second opinions done at a separate facility .
    Better still, dont take halcion. (dont take opioids either if possible to use alternative therapies)

  3. Kim McCormick

    I am an anti-drug person but also a pragmatist. I believe humans are best served sans any drug. However, if a drug is effective and they suffer without it, I would not be enough of a pompous ass to say, ” no drug for you.” When first in pain (18 years ago) I refused pain medication. The pain kept me from sleeping for 6 or 7 days at a time. I twice did not sleep for 14 days.
    Once I figured out how to control my pain ( without narcotics) Halcion enabled me to return to a healthy sleep schedule.
    Nothing inanimate is bad in itself. Judicious use can make most medications a good thing.

  4. Ben Thums

    I’ve taken halcion,1/2 milligram for years and years. It seems the article above does nothing but vilify the drug. Either the authors are in the FDA’s pocket, or their writing about a specific inciddent. I agree it shouldn’t be the first drug supplied, but it may be a last option. I think the effects of insomnia are far worse than those of triazilam. It’s ovious the author has never dealt with chronic insomnia day after day, month after month, year after year. And there’s many people who’s insomnia is caused by physical issues, rather than mental. All he does is push the RARE side effects, and how is this any different than not stressing the side effects, as he claims uojohn does. Without this drug I likely would be dead. Please, author, include the pros with the cons. Or don’t write at all.there are two sides to every story, including only one makes you worse the big drug. They DO include the side affects. You only include them and spin then to be worse than they are. Using it correctly is as safe as anything else. ALL prescribed sleep aids have side effects, some worse. It’s powerful, but for some the quality of life improvement far out weighs the risks. Funny how he didn’t mention that .Does he work for pzier?

    • CCHR

      The side effects associated with Triazolam are provided by the drug companies. They are listed on this site: and include: Sedation, Breathing Problems, Dementia, Coma, Death. The U.S. Drug Enforcement administration warns that benzodiazepines can bring about hostility, as well as physical dependence.

  5. guidoshin

    Guys are you serious ? i use halcion, and i Love halcion. I remember everything and i have not experience any side effects. i know this drug well i have been use it since years. occasionally though, maybe once ever week if i need to.

  6. Robert C KEPPER

    I was on halcion in the Navy . while I was an aircrewman in the Navy. My flight surgeon over dosed me on it and ii was not able to remember things.. thy tried to hide my records but they didn’t know I made a copy. .it ruined my career.I ended up Service connected disability and socal security.. Bottom line is the Navy should not give people this drug in a flight status period.

  7. Randall curwen

    Nothing works as well for me as Halcion. Yet I was taken off it and given drugs that just didn’t work or had bad side effects. And no, I had no withdrawal problems, and it worked for years. Now nothing does.

  8. Brenda

    Halcion’s side effects increase with age. Not recommended for people over 65. A relative of mine committed suicide after 4 weeks on this drug. He was in his 70s and not monitored by his doctor.

    • CCHR

      I am sorry to learn of your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Kate

      So sorry for your loss Brenda …
      Prayers n hugs

    • A.T.

      Brenda, I’m writing a book about my father’s death from an overdose of Halcyon. He was 73. If you would be willing to share, offline, more of your experience and understanding of your relative’s situation with me, please let me know.

  9. Louis

    Halcion is a perfectly fine drug to take for insomina. I have done all of the sleep sterilization therapy and that does nothing for my to relieve my insomnia. Halcion gives me a restful nights sleep and I have never had any of the rare side effects mentioned in the article. Halcion is the only sleep aid that works for me. A proper article for the education on treatments for insomina would explain that is okay to take a drug for sleep as long as you are looking out for the negative side effects and being open with your doctor on your experiences. Behavior therapy does not work for everyone and it is wrong to claim that it is the only safe way to treat insomnia. Also, the side effects of insomnia cause the same rare, negative side effects as halcion when left untreated. As someone with insomnia I find it morally wrong to espouse that the disorder’s symptoms are worth no treatment. Insomnia dramatically reduces people’s standard of living and no one should have to just deal with it. The advice mentioned is like telling an insomniac just go to sleep.

    • M

      ^^^ this
      I couldn’t agree more. I have been on low dose halcion (0.125 mg per night) for quite awhile now and it has been a God-send to say the least. It’s the only medication that has worked consistently for me with minimal side effects (I’ve been on ambien, lunesta, trazodone, clonidine and all of the OTC mess at one point or another). Taken strictly as prescribed (only once a night, never exceeding the prescribed dose) there is literally no time to develop a tolerance to this medicine – it’s out of your system in ~3 hours and then your body has another 21 hours to “recover” back to baseline/homeostasis before the next dose. I would venture to say that many patients who’ve experienced side effects/tolerance increases may not be taking this medicine exactly as prescribed… just my two cents though

    • KT Smith

      I also agree but everyone is different and processes drugs differently. I have also been on it at 0.25mg every night for about 12 years and it has worked well for about 11 years. I’ve tried all the others (ambien, lunesta, klonopin, xanax, ativan, etc.) and while some would work for awhile they would all stop working very quickly. I found I would do a lot of sleep eating on ambien such as waking up to 6 reese’s peanut butter cup wrappers on the floor with no memory of getting up and eating them! I’ve never done that on halcion. I do have to say that I have a lot of memory issues because of taking the halcion so long. Lately, I have stopped the halcion and taken ambien again for a week recently because the halcion has stopped working and did not notice any withdrawal symptoms of the halcion, and I have had nasty withdrawals from paxil so I definitely know how withdrawals feel. Luckily, the ambien is working again and I may just have to keep cycling through all of the sleeping meds again when they each stop working. I cannot speak for what effects the long term use will cause me in 10 – 30 years from now……who knows, I may end up with alzheimers or dementia but having insomnia causes such bad anxiety if I don’t get any sleep that the side effects are worth it to me even long down the road. I have also been really lucky because I have drank a lot of alcohol many times and then still taken the halcion and am still alive, but that doesn’t mean I won’t die mixing the two…..just means I have been very lucky (I know it’s very stupid and risky).

  10. Trina Peddicord

    I was given the drug by my dentist. 8 tablets.
    Took 6 night before dental work and 2 morning of. I have zero memory of the dental work and for me that’s a blessing. Dentists scare the heck out of me. I’m glad it safely did it’s intended job for me, but because I am on other meds for medical reasons I understand the fear of abuse and withdrawals.

  11. Paul

    I have been on this drug since 2002 (15 years). When my 30 day rx runs out a few days early as it does sometimes if it’s been a stressful month, the side effects are awful. Rebound anxiety, nausea, fear and social withdrawal are just a few of the withdrawal effects. I’ve even had a bout of a panic attack after being off it for a few days and I literally thought I was going to die. Although I’m still on this medicine due to GAD and other factors, be very careful and do not drink any alcohol while taking it. You could become very I’ll or worse. Alcohol, though, seems to help in bridging the gap between my last dose if my month is up early and my next refill. Not sure what that says about how the brain functions, but it appears the GABA receptors are susceptible to anything that can bathe the transmissions in fake or misleading impulses, being Halcion, alcohol or other drugs. Be careful out there.

    • Dee

      just my personal opinion, but perhaps after 15 years, at the very least you could discuss a change with your doctor to something, well, that you haven’t been on for 15 years. there are other sleep or anxiety aids somewhat safer than halcion. I thought my doctor was nuts when he refused to prescribe it, but he had just moved from Britain where it was banned. This was back in the 90s. I had a lot of brain fog, memory issues etc and was on it over a year after a car accident where I sustained major injuries. im glad the ‘new’ doctor had the sense to try something else.

  12. lcagee

    I am a person who experienced horrible side effects from halcion. I only took it for a week but when the side effects kicked in after about 6 days it was awful. I believe it was a withdrawal reaction with hyper anxiety and fear. I didnt have side effects before from a single dose. But this was awful and it didn’t occur to me it was a drug reaction until i did some research. It took several days to recover. It opened my eyes to what a dangerous drug it was.


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