Is Halcion (Triazolam) Stronger Or More Addictive Than Xanax (Alprazolam)?

Due to its potency, Halcion has a higher potential for addiction than Xanax, but both drugs are prone to encourage abuse.

Triazolam (brand name Halcion) and alprazolam (brand name Xanax) are two highly potent and short-acting benzodiazepine prescription drugs.

The effects of Halcion occur rapidly and the drug is for short-term use only. As a result, Halcion is considered stronger and more addictive than Xanax.

Although these benzodiazepines both have a short half-life, the half-life of Xanax can last up to 11 hours while Halcion is around 1.5 to 3 hours. This means the effects of Halcion are shorter-lived but likely more intense.

Similarities Between Halcion & Xanax

Halcion and Xanax have a number of similarities including certain drug interactions, side effects, and how these medications affect the brain.

Both drugs are highly potent, producing a number of side effects that can range in severity depending on whether or not the medication is taken as prescribed or abused.

Mechanism Of Action

As benzodiazepines, Halcion and Xanax work similarly. For instance, both depress the central nervous system (CNS).

These medications work by affecting the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This process suppresses activity in the brain, causing sedation and a relaxed, calming effect.

Halcion and Xanax are not long-acting benzodiazepines, but are both short-acting benzos.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the sedative effects of triazolam (0.25 mg) and alprazolam (0.5 mg) are similar and minimal when used in these amounts for general anesthesia.

Side Effects

Halcion and Xanax produce a number of similar side effects in patients who are prescribed these medications, which may include:

  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • impairment
  • lightheadedness
  • sleepiness
  • nausea

Drug Interactions

Neither Halcion or Xanax should be combined with other medications, especially other drugs that belong to the class of benzodiazepines such as:

  • diazepam (Valium)
  • clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)
  • chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • midazolam (Versed)
  • flurazepam (Dalmane)
  • temazepam (Restoril)

In addition to benzodiazepines, those who take Halcion or Xanax should also avoid other CNS depressants like opioids or alcohol.

Additional drugs to avoid include:

Combining medications is never advised, as drug interactions can take place and lead to life-threatening health issues.

Risks Of High Doses

There are a number of similar risks associated with taking these drugs.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when abused or taken in high doses, these drugs can cause serious side effects such as:

  • memory loss
  • seizures
  • severe fatigue
  • slurred speech
  • irritability
  • changes in sex drive
  • respiratory depression
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • dependence

Abuse Potential

Halcion and Xanax are both Schedule IV controlled substances according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means they have a potential for abuse.

Due to the fact that Halcion and Xanax are short-acting benzodiazepines, the medication may enter and leave a person’s body rather quickly. This can cause a person to inadvertently take more of the drug than prescribed.

In addition to this, Halcion and Xanax can be abused in similar ways. The tablets can be crushed into powder and snorted or even crushed and combined with water to inject into a vein. These are forms of substance abuse.

Differences Between Halcion & Xanax

The main difference between Halcion and Xanax is how they are used. While they can both be used for general anesthesia before surgery, they are ultimately used to treat different disorders.

Approved Medical Uses

Xanax is used to help treat short-term anxiety or panic attacks brought on by a number of anxiety disorders or mental health issues. Xanax may also be used to treat premenstrual syndrome, depression, and agoraphobia, or the fear of places that cause anxiety.

Xanax may also be prescribed specifically for panic disorder. Halcion is only approved to treat insomnia.

Length Of Use

Those who do not have a hypersensitivity to Xanax may have it prescribed by a healthcare provider for more than just a short-term period.

Halcion, on the other hand, is only used on a short-term basis. It is advised that Halcion only be prescribed for no longer than two or three weeks. Those who take Halcion may experience sleepiness quickly after taking the medication.

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Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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