Triazolam will no longer be available in New Zealand once current stocks are exhausted from September 2023. See the notification from PHARMAC here.
Triazolam is a very short-acting benzodiazepine, with a half-life of about 3 hours.
For patients currently taking triazolam:
- Consider whether a benzodiazepine is still clinically indicated:
- Benzodiazepines are associated with considerable adverse effects, including dependency, and an increased risk of falls and cognitive impairment, especially in elderly people.
- Do not stop triazolam suddenly if it has been used regularly for more than 2 weeks:
- A gradual taper should be used to improve the rate of successful discontinuation and minimise withdrawal effects.
- See the New Zealand Formulary and BPAC for advice on benzodiazepine withdrawal.
- Consider alternative options to benzodiazepines for long-term management of the patient’s condition. See advice on Canterbury Community HealthPathways for anxiety or BPAC for anxiety and insomnia.
- If treatment with a benzodiazepine is still necessary, lorazepam (for anxiety or insomnia) or temazepam (for insomnia) are the closest alternatives to triazolam with respect to their half-lives. See the New Zealand Formulary for approximate equivalent doses.
Health professionals are welcome to contact our service for more specific advice on individual patients.