Oral Sedation Information

Triazolam (Halcion), although usually prescribed as a sleeping pill, is a medication that can greatly minimize stress and anxiety that may be associated with a dental procedure.  In a controlled study of patients presenting for oral surgery, those who received triazolam had significantly less irregular heartbeats (dysrhythmias) and lower resting heart rate than patients not receiving the drug.  In a relaxed state, you will be able to communicate with the endodontist while treatment is being preformed.  Even though it is safe, effective, and wears-off rapidly after the dental visit, you should be aware of some important precautions and considerations associated with taking triazolam:

  1. The onset of triazolam is 15 to 30 minutes.  Do not drive after you have taken the medication.  You must have an escort to and from the dental appointment, who can remain on the premises while your dental procedure is completed.  After you return home, your escort should remain with you for several hours because of possible disorientation and possible injury from falling.  On the way home from your appointment, your car seat should be reclined.  When home, lie down with your head slightly elevated.  Be prepared to take a nap when you return home.  Most people begin to feel normal after 6-8 hours.  For safety, do not drive or operate machinery the remainder of the day.  Wait until the next day.

  2. This medication should not be used if:
    • you are hypersensitive to benzodiazepines (Valium, Ativan, Versed)
    • you are pregnant or breast feeding
    • you have liver or kidney disease
    Tell the endodontist if you are taking the following medications as they can adversely interact with triazolam: nefazodone (Serzone), cimetidine (Tagamet, Peptol), levodopa (Dopar or Larodopa) for Parkinson’s disease, antihistimines (benadryl, Tavist-D), verapamil (Calan), diltiazem (Cardizem), erythromycin or azole antimycotics (nizoral, Biaxin, Sporanox), HIV drugs (Indinavir and Nelfinavir), and alcohol.   Of course, taking recreational and/or elicit drugs can cause untold reactions.
  3. Side Effects:  include amnesia, drowsiness, incoordination, light-headedness.

  4. You should not eat heavily before your appointment.  You may take the medication with a small amount of food such as juice, toast, etc.  Taking it with too much food may impair absorption of the drug.

An escort is required to bring you to the appointment and to take you home.

If you wish to consider oral sedation for your endodontic treatment procedure, please inquire when you schedule your appointment.

Get the oral sedation form here.