New drug evaluations. Triazolam

Drug Intelligence & Clinical Pharmacy
P D Kroboth, R P Juhl


Triazolam is a sedative/hypnotic triazolobenzodiazepine, structurally related to alprazolam. Recently, it has been approved for the short-term management of insomnia characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, and/or early morning awakenings. Triazolam is metabolized with a half-life of 1.5-5.0 hours. Its one active metabolite, which appears in low concentrations and is inactivated rapidly, is not thought to contribute to its pharmacologic activity. Triazolam has been shown to decrease sleep latency and the number of nocturnal awakenings while increasing total sleep time in patients with insomnia. Sleep electroencephalogram studies show that triazolam has no effect on delta-sleep (Stages 3 and 4) and has variable effects on rapid-eye-movement sleep. Nighttime administration of triazolam increases daytime alertness in insomniacs and improves or has no effect on performance. The reported side effects are similar to those of other benzodiazepines and include drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. The recommended dosage of triazolam is 0.25-0.5 mg hs. A reduced initial dose of 0.125 mg should be used in geriatric patients.


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