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HALCION®, CIV Use in Specific Populations (triazolam)


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry

There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to Halcion during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the National Pregnancy Registry for Other Psychiatric Medications at 1-866-961-2388 or visiting online at

Risk Summary

Infants born to mothers using benzodiazepines during the later stages of pregnancy have been reported to experience symptoms of sedation and neonatal withdrawal (see Clinical Considerations) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]. At this time, there is no clear evidence that triazolam exposure in early pregnancy can cause major birth defects (see Data).

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2–4% and 15–20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions

Benzodiazepines cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression and sedation in neonates. Monitor neonates exposed to Halcion during pregnancy and labor for signs of sedation, respiratory depression, withdrawal, and feeding problems and manage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)].


Human Data

Published data from observational studies on the use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy do not report a clear association with benzodiazepines and major birth defects. Although early studies reported an increased risk of congenital malformations with diazepam and chlordiazepoxide, there was no consistent pattern noted. In addition, the majority of more recent case-control and cohort studies of benzodiazepine use during pregnancy, which were adjusted for confounding exposures to alcohol, tobacco and other medications, have not confirmed these findings. At this time, there is no clear evidence that triazolam exposure in early pregnancy can cause major birth defects.

Infants exposed to benzodiazepines during the late third trimester of pregnancy or during labor have been reported to exhibit sedation and neonatal withdrawal symptoms.

Animal Data

Oral administration of triazolam to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis caused skeletal developmental changes (variations and malformations) at maternally toxic doses in rats and at doses in rats and rabbits which are approximately equal to or greater than 200 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 0.5 mg/day based on mg/m2 body surface area. Oral administration of triazolam to male and female rats before mating, and continuing during gestation and lactation did not result in embryotoxicity at doses up to approximately 100 times the MRHD based on mg/m2 body surface area, but did cause an increase in the number of stillbirths and postnatal pup mortalities at doses greater than or equal to approximately 40 times the MRHD based mg/m2 body surface area. 14C-triazolam was administered orally to pregnant mice. Drug-related material appeared uniformly distributed in the fetus with 14C concentrations approximately the same as in the brain of the mother.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of triazolam in human milk or the effects on milk production. There are reports of central nervous system depression (sedation, respiratory depression), withdrawal symptoms, and feeding problems in infants who are breastfed by mothers taking benzodiazepines (see Clinical Considerations). Triazolam and its metabolites are present in the milk of lactating rats (see Data). When a drug is present in animal milk, it is likely that the drug will be present in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for HALCION and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from HALCION or from the underlying maternal condition.

Clinical Considerations

Infants exposed to HALCION through breast milk should be monitored for sedation, respiratory depression, withdrawal symptoms, and feeding problems. A lactating woman may consider interrupting breastfeeding and pumping and discarding breast milk during treatment and for 28 hours (approximately 5 elimination half-lives) after HALCION administration in order to minimize drug exposure to a breast fed infant.


Both triazolam and triazolam metabolites were detected in milk of rats. Lactating rats were orally administered 0.3 mg/kg 14C-triazolam; drug and metabolite levels were determined in milk collected at 6 and 24 hours after administration.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of Halcion have not been established in pediatric patients.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Elderly patients exhibit higher plasma triazolam concentrations due to reduced clearance as compared with younger subjects at the same dose. Because elderly patients are especially susceptible to dose related adverse reactions and to minimize oversedation, the smallest effective dose should be used [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

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