What is triazolam, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Triazolam is a drug that is used to promote sleep in individuals who have difficulty sleeping (insomnia). It is in the benzodiazepine family of drugs, the same family that includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), and others. Insomnia is believed often to be the result of anxiety, a state in which the brain is excessively active. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a substance produced in the brain which inhibits (slows down) nerves and many of the activities of the brain. Triazolam and other benzodiazepines enhance the effects of GABA and thereby reduce activity in the brain and promote sleep. Triazolam was approved by the FDA in 1982.

What brand names are available for triazolam?


Is triazolam available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for triazolam?


What are the side effects of triazolam?

The most common side effects of triazolam are:

Other side effects include:

What is the dosage for triazolam?

Triazolam usually is prescribed once daily at bedtime to promote sleep.

  • Individuals over the age of 65 years may require smaller doses to avoid side effects.
  • The recommended dose is 0.125 to 0.25 mg at bedtime.
  • The maximum dose is 0.5 mg at bedtime.

Which drugs or supplements interact with triazolam?

Benzodiazepines, including triazolam, add to the effects of other drugs that also inhibit activity within the brain, such as:

Combining the above drugs with benzodiazepines may cause excessive sedation.

Some drugs block the metabolism (elimination) of triazolam from the body, thereby raising the levels of triazolam in the body and causing excessive sedation. Such drugs include:

Phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), rifampin (Rifadin), and rifabutin (Mycobutin) increase the rate of elimination of triazolam from the body and can lead to a loss of triazolam’s effectiveness.

Is triazolam safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Triazolam is contraindicated during pregnancy because benzodiazepines are associated with fetal abnormalities when used during pregnancy.

It is not known whether triazolam is secreted into human breast milk. Other benzodiazepines are, however, and it is likely that triazolam is as well. It should be avoided while breastfeeding.

What else should I know about triazolam?

What preparations of triazolam are available?

Tablets: 0.125mg and 0.25mg.

How should I keep triazolam stored?

Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

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Medically Reviewed on 3/12/2019


Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


FDA Prescribing Information