Pharmacology and hypnotic efficacy of triazolam

T RothF Zorick


Triazolam is a new triazolobenzodiazepine drug that is indicated for the treatment of insomnia. The usual adult dosage is 0.25 to 0.5 mg; for geriatric patients a dose of 0.125 to 0.25 mg is recommended. Triazolam is readily absorbed and quickly eliminated with a half-life of 2-5 hours, making it the shortest acting benzodiazepine available in the United States. Sleep laboratory and non-laboratory clinical trials found triazolam 0.25 and 0.5 mg effective in inducing and maintaining sleep. It remained effective in laboratory studies of up to one month duration and non-laboratory studies of up to six months duration when the drug was administered nightly. On discontinuation disturbed sleep for one or two nights was observed in some studies. Triazolam impairs performance for several hours after administration. However, unlike benzodiazepines with long-acting metabolites, triazolam is relatively free of daytime residual effects, which is attributable to its short half-life. Overall, triazolam is an effective and safe compound for the symptomatic treatment of insomnia complaints.


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