Halcion and Xanax are two very commonly prescribed medications for treating anxiety, panic attacks and other conditions. Having numerous medicinal options for treating these conditions is very beneficial because some people may have adverse reactions or better results from one medication over another. However, it’s easy to become confused about what the differences are between medications and how they could affect you for better or worse. Here is everything you need to know about the similarities and differences between Halcion and Xanax to get the most effective and safest treatment possible.
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What are Halcion and Xanax Prescribed to Treat?
Halcion, also known as triazolam, and Xanax, also known as alprazolam, are both benzodiazepines that are typically prescribed for anxiety disorders and panic attacks, but they’re also commonly used to treat seizures, depression and insomnia. Benzodiazepines work by slowing activity in the neurotransmitters in the brain, creating a calming effect to counteract the symptoms of anxiety and other conditions.
Is Halcion Stronger than Xanax?
While both Halcion and Xanax have similar effects, Halcion is considered slightly more powerful than Xanax. Studies have shown that triazolam has a stronger effect on motor functions than alprazolam, and triazolam is more fast-acting than alprazolam. Keep in mind that medications affect people differently depending on a wide variety of factors. You may have a stronger or weaker reaction to one medication than someone else. Your dosage may need to be adjusted to better suit your body type and medical history to achieve maximum effectiveness.
What are the Differences Between Halcion and Xanax?
While both are prescribed for treating insomnia, only Halcion is FDA approved for use as a treatment for insomnia. It’s still safe in most cases for Xanax to be used to treat insomnia, but it hasn’t yet received FDA approval to be used for that purpose. Xanax is also more commonly prescribed for use as a treatment for anxiety and panic attacks while Halcion is most commonly used to treat insomnia.
Since Halcion is faster acting and slightly more powerful, dosage recommendations are different between the two drugs. Most doctors recommend a 0.25 mg dose of Halcion daily for the average patient, but the amount may be halved or doubled depending on how the user reacts. Dosage amounts should never exceed 0.5 mg.
Xanax is usually prescribed at 0.25 mg doses three times a day, which may be increased to 0.5 mg at maximum.
Xanax is considered an intermediate-acting drug, which means the effects are felt more slowly, but last longer. Halcion is a short-acting drug with an almost immediate effect, but the effects wear off more quickly.
Dependency issues aren’t as prevalent in users of Halcion as they are in Xanax users, but there is still a significant risk of becoming addicted. Halcion usually has more severe withdrawal symptoms than Xanax, which makes people hesitant to stop taking it. Doctors recommend ending usage of Halcion after a maximum of ten days to avoid developing a dependency.
Xanax is one of the most commonly abused and highly addictive prescription drugs on the market. Studies have shown that around 40% of Xanax users who stay on the medication for longer than six weeks develop a dependency on the drug.
Side Effects of Halcion
The side effects associated with Halcion are typically less frequent and not as severe as the side effects commonly felt by users of Xanax.
As a medication intended to treat insomnia, drowsiness is the most common side effect of Halcion. To help reduce drowsiness during the day, doctors instruct users of Halcion to only take it before bedtime.
Other common mild side effects of Halcion include dizziness, headaches, lightheadedness, numbness, irritability, itchiness, nervousness and loss of coordination.
There are some uncommon and serious side effects of Halcion that require treatment by a doctor. These side effects include memory loss, aggressive behaviors, extreme irritation, confusion, hallucinations, sleepwalking, increased anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts or actions.
Finally, there are some rare but dangerous side effects that require immediate emergency medical attention. These side effects include blurred vision, vision loss, eye pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, fainting, irregular or fast heartbeat, slurred speech, weakness in the arms and legs, difficulty walking, elevated fever, sweating and shaking.
Side Effects of Xanax
The side effects of Xanax are significantly more common and tend to be more severe. The most common and mildest side effects include fatigue, memory loss, trouble balancing, irritability, dry mouth, constipation, difficulty concentrating, low blood pressure, decreased appetite and muscle weakness.
Less common and slightly more severe side effects of Xanax include vomiting, swollen joints, eye spasms, fever, difficulty breathing, muscle pain, pain while urinating, diarrhea, joint pain, rash, visual and auditory hallucinations, chills and stomach pain.
The rarer and more serious side effects of Xanax include suicidal thoughts, extreme fatigue, numbness in the extremities, increased or irregular heartbeat, aggressive feelings and actions, ear pain, hearing loss, chest pain, lack of responsiveness and swelling.
Symptoms of Halcion and Xanax Overdoses
Overdosing is a risk with any prescription medication, but it’s most common among people who develop a dependency. Using Halcion or Xanax regularly dulls the effects of either drug over time, prompting people to increase their dosage to feel stronger effects. Additionally, people who relapse after having been off of either drug for long periods of time may overdose due to taking their previously increased dosage when their body has been weaned off of the drug and is no longer adapted to it. In some cases, people overdose on accident due to misunderstanding their prescriptions or forgetting when they took their pills. Overdosing on either medication requires immediate medical attention and may result in death if not treated promptly.
The symptoms of Halcion overdoses are extreme drowsiness, slurred speech, confusion, seizures and falling into a coma.
Xanax overdoses cause slow reflexes, nausea, slow and shallow breathing, coordination problems, slurred speech, drowsiness, vomiting and coma.
Is It Safe to Take Halcion and Xanax Together?
Before taking any two prescription drugs together, you need to consult a doctor. Your medical history and other factors may make it riskier for you to take certain drugs together than it would be for other patients. Halcion and Xanax have not been known to cause any severe effects when taken together, but combining the two medications may increase the severity and frequency of the side effects from either drug.
If you or a loved one have developed a dependency on Halcion, Xanax or other prescription drugs, contact Garden State Treatment Center today. They can provide you with valuable information, resources and treatment to help anyone escape the harmful effects of addiction.