Halcion

Halcion helps you sleep if you have trouble falling asleep. Do not take Halcion with a meal or right after a meal. Do not take if you cannot remain asleep for 7 or 8 hours.

Halcion Overview

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Halcion is a prescription medication used for short-term treatment of insomnia (generally 7–10 days). It is not meant to be used by children. Halcion belongs to a group of medications called benzodiazepines and works by decreasing the activity of brain, resulting in a sedative effect.

Halcion comes in a tablet form, and is to be taken once daily by mouth at night just before sleep.

Common side effects of Halcion include headache, lightheadedness, and tingling sensations on the skin.

Halcion can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication will affect you.

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Halcion Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Halcion

Halcion is a prescription medicine used in adults for the short-term treatment (usually 7-10 days) of insomnia. It is not meant to be used by children.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Halcion Drug Class

Halcion is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Halcion

Serious side effects have been reported with Halcion. See “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects of Halcion include:

  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • "pins and needles" feelings on your skin
  • difficulty with coordination
  • You may still feel drowsy the next day after taking Halcion. Do not drive or do other dangerous activities (including operating machinery) after taking Halcion until you feel fully awake.
  • You may have withdrawal symptoms for 1 to 2 days when you stop taking Halcion suddenly. Withdrawal symptoms include trouble sleeping, unpleasant feelings, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and seizures.

These are not all the side effects of Halcion. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Halcion Interactions

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Medicines can interact, sometimes causing side effects. 

Do not take Halcion with other medicines that can make you sleepy including alcohol, antidepressant medications, antipsychotic medications, barbiturates, narcotic or opiod pain medicines, other benzodiazepines, seizure medicines, muscle relaxants, and other sleep medicines. Combining these medicines with Halcion can increase your risk of side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, memory loss, and difficulty breathing.

Other medicines may interact with Halcion by increasing the amount of Halcion in your blood, increasing your risk of side effects. Tell your doctor if you take:

  • birth control pills
  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • delavirdine (Rescriptor)
  • erythromycin (Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, E-mycin)
  • grapefruit and grapefruit juice
  • isoniazid (Nydrazid)
  • itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • miconazole (Monistat, Micatin)
  • nefazodone (Serzone)
  • protease inhibitors such as amprenavir (Agenerase), atazanavir (Reyataz), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), saquinavir (Invirase)
  • ranitidine (Zantac)
  • telithromycin (Ketek)

This is not a complete list of Halcion drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine.

 

Halcion Precautions

After taking Halcion, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. You have a higher chance for doing these activities if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy with Halcion. Reported activities include:

  • driving a car ("sleep-driving")
  • making and eating food
  • talking on the phone
  • having sex
  • sleep-walking

Halcion is not indicated for use in children.

Elderly patients are especially susceptible to dose related adverse effects when taking Halcion.

1.  Take Halcion exactly as prescribed
  • Do not take more Halcion than prescribed.
  • Take Halcion right before you get in bed, not sooner.
2.  Do not take Halcion if you:
  • drink alcohol
  • take other medicines that can make you sleepy. Talk to your doctor about all of your medicines. Your doctor will tell you if you can take Halcion with your other medicines
  • cannot get a full night's sleep
  • are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant
3.  Call your doctor right away if you find out that you have done any of the above activities after taking Halcion.

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to Halcion.

Halcion Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Halcion and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

 

Inform MD

Halcion may not be right for you. Before starting Halcion, tell your doctor about all of your health conditions, including if you:

  • have a history of depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts
  • have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction
  • have kidney or liver disease
  • have a lung disease or breathing problems
  • are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Medicines can interact, sometimes causing side effects. Do not take Halcion with other medicines that can make you sleepy.

Halcion and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Halcion increases the risk of birth defects and withdrawal symptoms in newborns. Halcion should not be taken during pregnancy.

Halcion and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Halcion is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Halcion Usage

  • Take Halcion exactly as prescribed. Do not take more Halcion than prescribed for you.
  • Take Halcion right before you get into bed, or you can take the Halcion after you have been in bed and have trouble falling asleep.
  • Do not take Halcion with or right after a meal.
  • Do not take Halcion unless you are able to get a full night's sleep before you must be active again.
  • Call your healthcare provider if your insomnia worsens or is not better within 7 to 10 days. This may mean that there is another condition causing your sleep problem.

Halcion Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your age

The recommended dose range of Halcion for the treatment of short-term treatment of insomnia is 0.125 mg- 0.5 mg. A dose of 0.5 mg should not be exceeded.

Halcion Overdose

If you take too much Halcion or overdose, call your doctor or poison control center right away, or get emergency treatment.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store Halcion at room temperature between 68° and 77° F (20° to 25°C).
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep Halcion and all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Do not use Halcion after the expiration date on the bottle.