Xanax Vs. Halcion: Which Is More Addictive?

Xanax is a popular prescription medication in the mental health industry, but its side effects can lead people to seek less habit-forming alternatives. One is Halcion, another fast-acting benzodiazepine.

Xanax Vs. Halcion: Which Is More Addictive?

Halcion, which is a brand name for triazolam, and Xanax, a brand name for alprazolam, are medications that belong to a class of prescription drugs called benzodiazepines (benzos).

Some other well-known benzos include diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin), and temazepam (Restoril).

Xanax and Halcion are sedative medications that produce a relaxed, calming effect, which is why they are often used to treat anxiety disorders or to induce sedation before surgery.

While benzos are beneficial in some cases, Xanax is an addictive medication with other potential negative side effects.

For this reason, people often seek anti-anxiety alternatives to Xanax, such as Halcion or other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and natural remedies.

Is Halcion Stronger Than Xanax?

It can be difficult to determine which is stronger, Xanax or Halcion, because they have slightly different uses.

Alprazolam and triazolam are relatively evenly matched and are in the same tier of high-potency benzodiazepines.

However, Halcion could be considered more potent because its onset of effects is slightly faster than Xanax’s in general.

On the other hand, a recent study on the effects of alprazolam and triazolam on pre-surgery sedation showed that Halcion had a stronger effect on attention and other psychomotor functions than Xanax did.

Treatments And Uses For Alprazolam Vs. Triazolam

Xanax’s primary use is as a treatment for anxiety and panic disorders, including general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and panic attacks. Sometimes, Xanax is used off-label for insomnia or as a muscle relaxant.

Off-label means that the particular use has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Halcion Vs. Xanax For Dental Anxiety

In recent years, Xanax and Halcion have been tested for their efficacy as premedication before medical procedures.

They’ve been found to have similar effects regarding reducing patients’ anxiety, but triazolam is less likely to cause respiratory depression.

Since triazolam is short-acting, it works well as an anxiety and sedation treatment before dental procedures. One common side effect of this use is temporary amnesia.

Triazolam Vs. Alprazolam For Insomnia

Halcion, unlike Xanax, is FDA-approved to be used as a treatment for insomnia. It is intended for short-term use for up to 10 days.

Halcion is one of the quickest-acting benzodiazepines available. It’s less likely to induce side effects like those of the Xanax hangover, such as slurred speech and memory problems.

Xanax may be taken up to three times a day for anxiety and panic attacks, but Halcion is typically only taken once before bedtime.

Differences Between Halcion And Xanax

While Halcion and Xanax share many qualities, they also have some notable differences related to how and when healthcare providers prescribe them.

Length Of Effects

Alprazolam is an intermediate-acting drug, while triazolam is short-acting. Xanax’s effects may have a rapid onset, but Halcion’s onset of effects is even faster.

Halcion’s effects can be experienced within 15 to 30 minutes of taking the drug, while Xanax takes about an hour to kick in.

Halcion’s effects can be expected to last about two hours in total, while Xanax’s may last up to 10 hours.

People may be more likely to abuse Halcion due to its shorter half-life, which is how long it takes the drug to exit the body. This means it would need to be taken more often to sustain its effects.

However, Xanax is more well-known and more available, which could contribute to its risk factors for substance abuse.

Side Effects Of Xanax

Xanax has some prevalent side effects and a few that are rarer and more serious. Many of the common side effects tend to lessen over time.

A few of Xanax’s common side effects are:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • memory loss
  • trouble concentrating
  • coordination impairment
  • lightheadedness
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • low blood pressure
  • constipation

Rarer and more serious side effects include:

  • depression
  • thoughts of suicide
  • muscle twitches and tremors
  • changes in heart rate
  • hallucinations
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • seizures

Stopping use cold turkey can lead to uncomfortable and even life-threatening Xanax withdrawal symptoms.

It’s critical to detox from and taper off Xanax under medical supervision.

Side Effects Of Halcion

Many of the side effects of Halcion are similar to those of Xanax, but Halcion also has a few that are unique, such as sleepwalking.

Like Xanax, Halcion is addictive, and a person will likely experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping use abruptly. Side effects related to insomnia may worsen after about 10 days of use.

Common Halcion side effects include:

  • vomiting
  • headaches
  • sleepiness
  • lack of coordination
  • skin tingling
  • memory problems
  • changes in mood
  • blurred vision

Some rarer side effects of triazolam include:

  • appetite changes
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • slurred speech
  • increased heart rate
  • shortness of breath
  • hallucinations
  • menstrual period changes

Similarities Between Alprazolam And Triazolam

Xanax and Halcion’s main similarity is how they work in the brain. They function through the central nervous system (CNS) and a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Anxiety and insomnia are often caused by over-functioning nerves in the brain, and benzos are able to counteract this by slowing nerve activity.

Addiction And Dependence Risks

All benzos, particularly stronger ones like Halcion and Xanax, carry a risk of dependency and addiction that can happen even after just one to two weeks of use.

The best way to avoid this is to take low doses for as short a time as possible. In many cases, medical professionals only prescribe benzos until an antidepressant or other drug takes effect.

People who are predisposed to addiction through genetics or other factors may be at a higher risk of dependency on benzodiazepines and may want to consider other options.

Some signs of a benzodiazepine addiction may be:

  • trying and failing to reduce dosage or frequency of use
  • increased tolerance
  • thoughts preoccupied with benzos
  • loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • withdrawing from friends and family
  • abusing benzos despite any negative effects

Can I Take Xanax And Halcion Together?

Since alprazolam and triazolam are both “downers,” it’s dangerous to take them together or mix them with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol, barbiturates, or opioids.

Mixing these two drugs can intensify side effects like confusion or dizziness, and overdosing may result in seizures, coma, or death due to respiratory depression.

Seeking Help For A Benzodiazepine Addiction

If you are worried that you or someone you care about is experiencing a Halcion or Xanax addiction, don’t wait to seek help. Benzodiazepine addiction can develop rapidly.

While figuring out the next steps can seem overwhelming, the addiction specialists at Spring Hill Recovery Center are here to help. We offer personalized addiction treatment programs.

Call our 24/7 helpline today to learn more about how to begin recovery.

Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team

Published on: November 10, 2022

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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