Diazepam is used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. Diazepam is an anticonvulsant and may also be used to treat certain seizure disorders and help relax muscles or relieve muscle spasm.
This medicine may increase the risk of habit forming tendency if taken for a long duration or at larger doses.
Diazepam is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are medicines that slow down the nervous system.
Do not stop abruptly taking this medicine as it may cause withdrawal symptoms like convulsions, behavioral disorder, tremor, and anxiety.
Diazepam Classification and General Details.
- Category : Benzodiazepines
- Schedule : Schedule “H”
- Prescription : Must Required
- Legal Status : Approved
- Available as : Tablets (5 mg, 10 mg, 2 mg) , Solution, Capsule, Extended Release
- Brand Name : Valium
Description of Diazepam
Diazepam is used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. It is also used to relieve muscle spasms and to provide sedation before medical procedures. This medication works by calming the brain and nerves. .
Diazepam oral tablet is a controlled substance drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Valium. It’s also available as a generic drug.
Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.
Diazepam is also available as an oral solution and a rectal gel.
Uses of Diazepam
Why Diazepam is prescribed for?
Diazepam oral tablet is used to treat the following conditions:
Diazepam is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Uneasiness, difficulty in sleeping, sweating of hands and feet are some of the symptoms of anxiety disorder.
Adjunct prior to endoscopic procedures :
Diazepam is used in to relieve the symptoms of anxiety or stress in the patients undergoing endoscopic procedures.
Alcohol withdrawal :
Diazepam is used in the treatment of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal like hallucinations, anxiety, and seizures.
Seizure disorder :
Diazepam is used in the treatment of seizure disorders.
Muscle spasm :
Diazepam is used to relieve skeletal muscle spasm which occurs due to an inflammation of the muscle or joints.
Preoperative sedation :
Diazepam is used to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and tension in the patients undergoing surgical procedures.
Other uses for this medicine
Diazepam is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and panic attacks. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
It may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.
How to use Diazepam?
Diazepam comes as a tablet, extended-release (long-acting) capsule, and concentrate (liquid) to take by mouth.
Do not open, chew, or crush the extended-release capsules; swallow them whole.
It is usually taken 1 to 4 times a day and may be taken with or without food.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Diazepam exactly as directed.
Diazepam concentrate (liquid) comes with a specially marked dropper for measuring the dose. Ask your pharmacist to show you how to use the dropper.
Dilute the concentrate in water, juice, or carbonated beverages just before taking it. It also may be mixed with applesauce or pudding just before taking the dose.
Diazepam can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you to.
Tolerance may develop with long-term or excessive use, making the drug less effective.
Side effects / Adverse Effects
what are the Major & minor side effects for Diazepam?
More common side effects:
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Inability to control muscle movements (ataxia)
- Dry mouth or excessive saliva
Severe side effects
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Worsening of seizures. Symptoms can include:
- Increase in frequency
- Increase in severity
Changes in the brain or how you think. Symptoms can include:
- Feelings of the room spinning (vertigo)
- Slowed or slurred speech
- Double or blurred vision
- Thoughts of suicide
- Memory loss
Unexpected reactions. Symptoms can include:
- Extreme excitement
- Increased muscle spasms
- Trouble sleeping
Liver problems. Symptoms can include:
- Yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes (jaundice)
Bladder problems. Symptoms can include:
- Inability to urinate
- Inability to hold urine
Increase or decrease in sex drive.
Withdrawal. Symptoms can include:
- Abdominal or muscle cramps
When not to use?
Contraindications of Diazepam
This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to diazepam.
This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with myasthenia gravis due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects.
This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma since it may worsen the patient’s condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking diazepam :
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to diazepam, alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, clorazepate, estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, triazolam, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in diazepam products. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements, you are taking. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
If you use antacids, take diazepam first, then wait 1 hour before taking the antacid.
Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma; seizures; or lung, heart, or liver disease.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking diazepam, call your doctor immediately.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking diazepam if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take diazepam because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same conditions.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking diazepam.
You should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
Tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.
Dosage and Administration of Diazepam
|ADULTS:||USUAL DAILY DOSE:|
|Management of Anxiety Disorders and Relief of Symptoms of Anxiety||Depending upon severity of symptoms—2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily|
|Symptomatic Relief in Acute Alcohol Withdrawal||10 mg, 3 or 4 times during the first 24 hours, reducing to 5 mg, 3 or 4 times daily as needed|
|Adjunctively for Relief of Skeletal Muscle Spasm||2 mg to 10 mg, 3 or 4 times daily|
|Adjunctively in Convulsive Disorders||2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily|
|Geriatric Patients, or in the presence of debilitating disease||2 mg to 2.5 mg, 1 or 2 times daily initially; increase gradually as needed and tolerated|
|Because of varied responses to CNS-acting drugs, initiate therapy with lowest dose and increase as required. Not for use in pediatric patients under 6 months||1 mg to 2.5 mg, 3 or 4 times daily initially; increase gradually as needed and tolerated|
Oral and Rectal forms: Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose. Injection: Since this medicine is administered by a qualified healthcare professional, the likelihood of an overdose is very low. However, emergency medical treatment will be initiated if an overdose is suspected.
Interaction of Diazepam
Drug/Food interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects.
Diazepam may interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol : MAJOR
Use of Diazepam with alcohol will increase the central nervous system and respiratory system depression.
Consumption of alcohol with this medicine is not recommended as it increases the risk of side effects like dizziness, difficulty in concentration. Do not perform activities that require mental alertness like driving or operating machinery.
Interaction with Medicine
- Cetirizine : MODERATE
- Metoclopramide : MODERATE
- Opoids : SEVERE
- Azole antifungal agents : MODERATE
- Antihypertensives : MODERATE
Glaucoma : SEVERE
Diazepam is known to increase the fluid pressure inside the eye. It is contraindicated in acute narrow-angle glaucoma which is an eye disorder.
Seizures : SEVERE
The sudden stop of Diazepam may cause withdrawal effects and can precipitate seizures. The dose should be reduced gradually. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting the doctor.
Consumption of grapefruit juice is not recommended during treatment with this medicine due to the increased risk of adverse effects such as difficulty in breathing, sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, muscle pain, drowsiness, etc.
Diazepam During Pregnancy
This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. Discuss all the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may prescribe a safer alternative based on your clinical condition.
Diazepam During Breast Feeding
This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. Discuss all the risks and benefits with your doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding for some period of time, based on the use of diazepam. Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe a safer alternative based on your clinical condition.
Use of benzodiazepines in depression conditions may increase the risk of suicide. Therefore this medicine should be used with caution and prescription size should be limited in patients with depression or suicidal tendencies.
Diazepam should not be stopped immediately without informing the doctor due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms like convulsions, behavioral disorder, tremor, and anxiety. Gradual dose reduction should be made based on the outcomes in the patient.
Diazepam should be used with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis due to the increase in the risk of muscle weakness.
Impaired liver function
Diazepam should be used with caution in the patients with mild to moderate liver injury. Lowest possible doses should be initiated and increase the dose based on the patient’s response. This medicine is not recommended in patients with severe liver impairment.
This medicine may cause drowsiness in some patients. It is advised that you do not perform any activities such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery if you experience any drowsiness during treatment with this medicine.
How diazepam works?
Diazepam is a benzodiazepine. It works by increasing the action of a chemical messenger (GABA) which suppresses the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells in the brain.
Expert Advice for Diazepam
If you are taking Diazepam for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety, it should not be used more than 4 weeks.
It may become less effective over the time.
It causes sleepiness or drowsiness. If this happens to you, do not drive or use machinery.
Avoid consuming alcohol when taking the Diazepam, as it may cause excessive sleepiness or drowsiness.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to conceive or breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with kidney or liver problems.
The addiction / habit-forming potential of Diazepam is very high.
Other Important Details
Onset of action
The peak effect of this medicine can be observed in 30 to 90 minutes for an oral dose.
Duration of effect
The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 3 to 4 days.
storage and disposal
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily.
Commonly Asked Questions / FAQs
Is Diazepam an opioid/ painkiller/ barbiturate/ sedative/ muscle relaxant?
Is Diazepam a sleeping pill?
Is Diazepam a narcotic/controlled drug?
How long can I take Diazepam for?
Can I take Diazepam for back pain/toothache/anxiety/hangover?
Does Diazepam help with opioid withdrawal?
Does Diazepam cause weight gain/drowsiness/thins blood?
Does Diazepam show on blood test?
Does Diazepam make you high?
Disclaimer : This information is to supplement, not substitute to the judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.