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Diazepam

INFORMATION

Uses

Diazepam is used in the treatment of short term anxiety and epilepsy.

How it works

Diazepam induces sleep and controls seizures or fits by increasing the action of GABA, a chemical messenger which suppresses the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells in the brain.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Frequent urge to urinate, Altered libido, Blurred vision, Change in appetite, Constipation, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Difficulty in urination, Epileptic convulsion, Fatigue, Restlessness, Weakness

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Expert advice

  • Do not take diazepam, if you are allergic to diazepam or other ingredients of this medicine, or any other benzodiazepine.
  • Do not start or continue diazepam, if you have heart disease, respiratory problem, kidney failure, low blood levels of a protein called albumin; poor blood supply to the brain (arteriosclerosis); myasthenia gravis (which causes muscles to weaken and tire easily).
  • Avoid using diazepam, if you smoke or have history of alcoholism and drug abuse; depression, suicidal thoughts; or a history of (fits) seizures.
  • Consult a doctor, if you are elderly or child and experiencing effects such as agitation, hyperactivity, restlessness, aggressiveness, nightmares or seeing or hearing thing which are not real (hallucinations), loss of memory (amnesia). 
  • Risk of dependence, can occur or increases with the increased dose and duration of treatment. 
  • Consult a doctor, if the drug effect is reduced after continuous use due to development of tolerance.
  • Do not abruptly stop or withdraw the drug intake.
  • Diazepam can cause sedation, amnesia and impaired muscular function and, therefore, caution has to be taken before operating an automobile or machinery or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness and coordination.

Frequently asked questions

Diazepam

Q.Is diazepam an opioid/ painkiller/ barbiturate/ sedative/ muscle relaxant?
Diazepam belongs to a class of medication called as benzodiazepine. It produces sedation and also causes muscle relaxation. It is not a barbiturate, and does not relieve pain

Q.Is diazepam a sleeping pill?
Diazepam is used as sedative drug which induces sleep

Q.Is diazepam a narcotic/controlled drug?
Diazepam is considered as a narcotic drug, as it has low, but definite potential to cause addiction, resulting in abuse of the drug; hence, its sale is controlled. It is available only according to the prescription of a doctor

Q.How long can I take diazepam for?
It is advisable to take this drug only till prescribed by the doctor

Q.Can I take diazepam for back pain/toothache/anxiety/hangover?
Diazepam is used in the treatment of short-term relief (2-4 weeks) of severe anxiety. It is not a pain-relieving medication, and cannot be used to relieve pain. It does not relieve hangover

Q.Does diazepam help with opioid withdrawal?
Diazepam is used to induce sleep, control fits and other symptoms of withdrawal of opioids as well as other depressant drugs

Q.Does diazepam cause weight gain/drowsiness/thins blood?
Drowsiness is the most common side effect of diazepam. There is no evidence that it causes weight gain, or thinning of blood

Q.Does diazepam show on blood test?
Yes, diazepam can be detected in blood, as well as urine, even when it is taken at prescribed doses

Q.Does diazepam make you high?
Diazepam is a benzodiazepine, which calms down the brain to relieve symptoms of brain hyperactivity. This effect may be perceived by some as pleasant, or ‘getting high'. Diazepam is considered as a narcotic drug, as it has low, but definite potential to cause addiction, resulting in abuse of the drug; hence, its sale is controlled. It is available only according to the prescription of a doctor.


Content on this page was last updated on 28 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)