Apo-Triazo, Gen-Triazolam, Halcion, Novo-Triolam, Nu-Triazo
Short-term management of insomnia.
Acts at many levels in the CNS, producing generalized depression. Effects may be mediated by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Therapeutic Effects: Relief of insomnia.
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
CNS: abnormal thinking, behavior changes, dizziness, excessive sedation, hangover, headache, anterograde amnesia, confusion, hallucinations, sleep driving, lethargy, mental depression, paradoxical excitation. EENT: blurred vision. GI: constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting. Derm: rashes. Misc: physical dependence, psychologic dependence, tolerance.
PHYSICAL THERAPY IMPLICATIONS
Examination and Evaluation
Monitor daytime drowsiness, anxiety, short-term memory deficits, and “hangover” symptoms (headache, blurred vision, nausea, irritability, lethargy, dysphoria). Repeated or excessive symptoms may require change in dose or medication.
Watch for other behavioral or personality changes such as confusion, nervousness, excitation, decreased concentration, hallucinations, or expression of abnormal thoughts. Notify physician if these changes become problematic.
Assess dizziness that might affect gait, balance, and other functional activities (See Appendix C). Report balance problems and functional limitations to the physician, and caution the patient and family/caregivers to guard against falls and trauma.
Guard against falls and trauma (hip fractures, head injury, and so forth). Implement fall-prevention strategies, especially in older adults or if drowsiness and dizziness carry over into the daytime (See Appendix E).
Help patient explore nonpharmacologic methods to improve sleep, such as relaxation techniques, regular exercise, avoid caffeine, and so forth.
Instruct patients on prolonged treatment not to discontinue medication without consulting their physician. Long-term use can cause tolerance and physical/psychologic dependence, and increased sleep problems (rebound insomnia) can occur when the drug is suddenly discontinued.
Advise patient to avoid alcohol and other CNS depressants because of the increased risk of sedation and adverse effects.
Caution patient and family/caregivers to guard against complex motor behaviors that can occur while asleep, including driving a car.
Instruct patient to report severe or prolonged skin rash or GI problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation).
Absorption: Well absorbed following oral administration.
Distribution: Widely distributed, crosses blood-brain barrier. Probably crosses the placenta and enters breast milk.
Metabolism and Excretion: Metabolized by the liver.
Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Cross-sensitivity with other benzodiazepines may occur; Preexisting CNS depression; Uncontrolled severe pain; OB/Pedi: Pregnancy, lactation, or children.