Halcion is a benzodiazepine, which is a class of medication that’s often used to treat anxiety disorders and sleep problems. Halcion is also a central nervous system depressant that can cause chemical dependence and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The drug works on the brain by interacting with a chemical messenger in the body called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Halcion can increase the efficiency of GABA to facilitate rest and relaxation. However, it can also cause intoxicating effects in high doses. When your brain gets used to the effects, it can cause a chemical dependency that results in severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. However, withdrawal symptoms are treatable. Learn more.
The withdrawal symptoms you experience may depend on the severity of your dependency. If you’ve been using the drug for a long time and quit abruptly, you might experience more intense withdrawal symptoms. Severe withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, including complications like seizures and heart failure. Other symptoms may include:
The timeline you experience may depend on your personal history with the drug. The length of time you’ve been dependent on it and the size of your usual dose can influence your timeline. Generally, the longer you take a high dose, the more likely you are to experience symptoms early.
Halcion has a half-life of around 5 hours, which means it will be reduced to half of its original concentration in your blood at that time and begin to wear off. You will likely experience your first symptoms sometime after that, within 24 hours of your last dose. Early symptoms may include insomnia and anxiety.
Your symptoms will start to get worse, once they begin until they reach their peak within four days. Peak symptoms are when withdrawal is at its most intense. Peak symptoms may include nausea, tremors, shaky hands, and headaches. Severe symptoms may also appear around this time that could include seizures and heart palpitations.
Once symptoms peak, they will start to go away. Most of your symptoms should be gone after about ten days. Psychological symptoms can last longer, and you may continue to experience insomnia.
Lingering symptoms, as well as drug cravings, may continue off and on indefinitely. They may need to need to be addressed in addiction treatment.
Halcion is a central nervous system depressant, which means it’s in the only major prescription drug category that can cause potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is the highest level of care among the four main levels of addiction treatment. Not everyone who goes through Halcion withdrawal will need medical detox. However, because depressants can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it’s essential to speak to a medical professional before quitting cold turkey.
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When you enter an addiction treatment program, you will go through an intake process that will include a medical assessment. You’re more likely to experience dangerous withdrawal if you’ve gone through antidepressant withdrawal before. A phenomenon called kindling makes long-lasting changes in your brain that make each subsequent withdrawal period more intense.
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U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2004, September 16). gamma-Aminobutyric acid. Retrieved from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/gamma-Aminobutyric-acid