This sheet talks about exposure to triazolam in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare provider.

What is triazolam?

Triazolam (Halcion®) is a medication that has been used to treat insomnia (having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep). Triazolam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. MotherToBaby has a general fact sheet on benzodiazepines at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/benzodiazepines-pregnancy/pdf/.

I take triazolam. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?

Studies have not looked at whether using triazolam could make it harder to get pregnant.

Should I stop taking triazolam once I find out that I am pregnant?

Talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to this medication. If you take this medication regularly and then suddenly stop taking it, you could have withdrawal symptoms. We don’t know what effects withdrawal have on a pregnancy. Your healthcare providers can help with slowly stopping this medication if you decided to stop using triazolam during a pregnancy.

Does taking triazolam increase the chance for miscarriage? 

Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Studies have not been done to see if triazolam could increase the chance of having a miscarriage.

Does taking triazolam increase the chance of having a baby with a birth defect?

In every pregnancy, a woman starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This is called her background risk. Triazolam has not been well studied among women for use in the first trimester. Experimental animal studies did not find a higher chance for birth defects with exposure to triazolam. One report on 97 women who reported using triazolam in pregnancy did not show an increased chance of birth defects.

Could triazolam cause other pregnancy complications?

Yes. If a woman is taking a benzodiazepine near the time of delivery, then a newborn might have withdrawal symptoms, which are treatable. The baby can be monitored for these symptoms, such as poor muscle tone and difficulty feeding.

Will taking triazolam during pregnancy affect my baby’s behavior or cause learning problems?

Triazolam has not been studied to see if taking it during a pregnancy would affect the child’s behavior or development.

Can I breastfeed my baby if I take triazolam?

Triazolam has not been well studied for use while breastfeeding. One report on an infant who was breastfeeding while the mother took triazolam did not find any health concerns. Given the lack of data on this medication while nursing, talk with your healthcare providers to see if alternative medications might work.

What if the baby’s father takes triazolam?

Triazolam has not been studied for use in men who are trying to get a partner pregnant. There is one case report of absence of sperm in a man taking triazolam and other medications; his sperm counts returned to normal several months after stopping triazolam. A single case report cannot predict how this medication would affect sperm production in all men. In general, exposures that fathers have are unlikely to increase risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures and Pregnancy at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/pdf/.

Selected References

  • Matsuo A, et al. 1979. Reproduction studies of triazolam in rats and rabbits. Iyakuhin Kenkyu 10:52-67.
  • Sakai T, et al. 1996. Triazolam (Halcion) intoxication in a neonate–a first report [letter]. Eur J Pediatr; 155:1065-6.
  • Arango O, et al. 1996. Reversible azoospermia in a patient treated with triazolam. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care; 1:293-4.
  • Kallen B, et al. 2013. The use of central nervous system active drugs during pregnancy. Pharmaceuticals 6(10):1221-1286.
  • Kelly LE, et al. 2012. Neonatal benzodiazepines exposure during breastfeeding. J Pediatr; 161(3):448-51.