Diazepam

Description

Diazepam is an anticonvulsant which is used to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, muscle spasm, and alcohol withdrawal. This medicine may increase the risk of habit forming tendency if taken for a long duration or at larger doses. Do not stop abruptly taking this medicine as it may cause withdrawal symptoms like convulsions, behavioral disorder, tremor, and anxiety.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Diazepam

  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Sense of imbalance
  • Headache
  • Sleepiness
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Indigestion
  • Convulsions
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching or rash
  • Nervousness
  • Unsteady walk
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Decrease in frequency of urination
  • Skin rash
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

Uses of Diazepam

What is it prescribed for?

  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Muscle spasm
  • Adjunct prior to endoscopic procedures
  • Preoperative sedation
  • Seizure disorder
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • 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.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    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.
  • Is it habit forming?
    Habit forming tendency has been reported
  • Usage in 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.
  • Usage while 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.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to diazepam.

Myasthenia gravis

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with myasthenia gravis due to the increased risk of serious adverse effects.

Narrow-angle glaucoma

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma since it may worsen the patient's condition.
Warnings for special population

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.

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.
General warnings

Suicidal thoughts

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.

Withdrawal symptoms

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.

Myasthenis gravis

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.

Drowsiness

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.

Missed Dose

Oral and Rectal forms: If you miss a dose of Diazepam, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed one. Injection: Since this medicine is administered by a qualified healthcare professional, the likelihood of missing a dose is very low.

Overdose

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.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Use of benzodiazepines with alcohol will increase the central nervous system and respiratory system depression.

Instructions

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

Metoclopramide

Opoids

Azole antifungal agents

Antihypertensives

Disease interactions

Glaucoma

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

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.
Food interactions
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.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Diazepam with or without food. Do not take in larger amounts than advised. Consult the doctor if you experience any undesirable side effects. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by binding to certain chemicals in the brain and helps in relieving the symptoms.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Benzodiazepines

Schedule

Schedule H

Diazepam: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 17 April 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682047.html

DailyMed - Diazepam injection [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 17 April 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=fa352464-14c8-49e9-b8b7-5a968b1cfa93

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 17 April 2017]. Available from:

https://www.tga.gov.au/prescribing-medicines-pregnancy-database#searchname

[Internet]. Toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 17 April 2017]. Available from:

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/f?./temp/~McYHAr:1

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Information on this page was last updated on 20 Aug 2018

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.