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How Long Does Halcion Stay in Your System?

Halcion has a half-life between 1.5 to 5.5 hours.

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Halcion will generally have a significant enough effect that it warrants staying in bed for at least eight hours after use if it is used as prescribed. 

It is a short-acting drug, which can make detecting its use difficult, with urine testing usually used to check for its use. It has an approximate detection window of about 24 hours, although clinical use is often not detected by this type of testing.

Understanding Halcion’s Half-Life

Halcion is a brand name of the drug triazolam. Triazolam has a short mean plasma half-life that is somewhere between 1.5 and 5.5 hours. This means it takes between 1.5 and 5.5 hours for a healthy body to eliminate about half of a drug currently present in its system. For reference, it takes between four to five half-lives for 94 to 97 percent of a drug to be eliminated from the body. 

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Triazolam is typically taken once before bed, as needed, and it has a significant effect for about seven to eight hours. While it isn’t typically a factor a patient needs to consider if only using the medication as prescribed, this recommendation is in part based on the drug’s half-life. 

The body needs time to eliminate a significant enough portion of the drug from its system, which is why it’s only recommended you take the drug if you expect to be able to sleep soon after and can stay in bed for at least seven to eight hours. Getting up too soon while on Halcion has been known to lead to temporary issues with memory.

Factors That Affect How Long Halcion Lasts in Body

There are a few factors that may affect how long a drug stays in your body, including height, weight, age, and genetics. One of the more obvious factors is how much of a drug you take, with the body taking more time to process a greater amount of a drug. 

It should be noted, however, that the dosing of Halcion is fairly standardized, and this is likely only to matter if you engage in drug misuse or abuse. Benzodiazepine misuse can be dangerous and potentially lead to addiction. You should only ever take medications of this type as prescribed.

One of the more complex factors that can sometimes affect how long a drug lasts in the body is health. Expectations of a drug’s potency and elimination time are based on the idea that an individual’s body is healthy, but certain medical conditions or drugs can impact the body’s ability to metabolize and eliminate drugs. 

One of the most important organs for metabolizing drugs is the liver, and the kidneys play a key part in excreting (and thus eliminating) drugs and their metabolites. The stomach also plays a role in the metabolization process, although to what degree is still a subject of some debate and research.  

How Long Can Halcion Be Detected?

The triazolam that makes up Halcion is considered short-acting. Benzodiazepines of this type have a fairly short window of detection. Drug tests can often miss the signs of therapeutic triazolam use altogether, which would mean that a person only took their medication as prescribed, a type of drug use not typically considered as important to test for. 

The following chart highlights average test detection windows, but the specific detection window for an individual can vary significantly:

TestDetection Window
Urine testingUp to 24 Hours
Blood testingShort: The person must generally still be under the influence of Halcion.
Hair testingUp to 90 Days: It can take 7–10 days for use to appear in hair samples, and the actual detection window is likely much shorter for most people.
Urine testing of chronic, heavy abuserUp to 30 days: This window is likely on the shorter side if only Halcion is abused
Updated March 21, 2024
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  2. Benzodiazepines (Xanax/Valium) Hair Drug Test. LabCorp.
  3. Blood Drug Testing. LabCorp.
  4. Clinical Drug Testing in Primary Care. (2012). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  5. HALCION® triazolam tablets, USP CIV. (September 2014). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  6. Half Life. (June 2022). StatPearls.
  7. Triazolam. (May 2021). National Library of Medicine.
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