Generic Name: diazepam (dye-AZ-e-pam)
Brand Name: Examples include Diastat and Diastat AcuDial
Diazepam gel is used for:
Treating episodes of increased seizure activity (cluster seizures) in certain patients with epilepsy who already take other seizure medicines.
Diazepam gel is a benzodiazepine. It works in the brain to decrease seizures.
Do NOT use diazepam gel if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in diazepam gel
- you have narrow-angle glaucoma, severe liver disease, or certain severe mental problems (eg, psychosis)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using diazepam gel:
Some medical conditions may interact with diazepam gel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines or other substances
- if you have a history of liver or kidney problems, lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], pneumonia), myasthenia gravis, porphyria (a blood disease), or glaucoma, or you are at risk for narrow-angle glaucoma
- if you have a history of depression, other mental or mood problems, suicidal thoughts or actions, or alcohol or other substance abuse or dependence
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with diazepam gel. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline, fluoxetine), barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), narcotic medicines (eg, morphine, hydrocodone), phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), valproate, or valproic acid because they may increase the risk of diazepam gel's side effects, such as severe drowsiness and confusion
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if diazepam gel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use diazepam gel:
Use diazepam gel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with diazepam gel. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- A health care provider will teach your caregiver how to use diazepam gel. Be sure your caregiver understands how to use diazepam gel. Contact your health care provider if you or your caregiver have any questions about using diazepam gel.
- If you are using Diastat AcuDial, the pharmacist will set the dial to the appropriate dose before you receive diazepam gel. Check the syringe as soon as you pick up diazepam gel from the pharmacy. Make sure that you can see the dose in the display window and that the dose is correct. Make sure that you can see the green "ready" band on the syringe just below the cap. If you have questions about how to tell whether the dial is set to the correct dose or whether the syringe is ready to use, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- To use diazepam gel, place the patient on their side where they cannot fall. Get the syringe. Push up with your thumb and remove the cap from the syringe. Be sure the seal pin is removed with the cap. Lubricate the rectal tip with the lubricating jelly provided.
- Turn the patient on their side facing you. Bend the upper leg forward and separate the buttocks to expose the rectum.
- Gently insert the syringe tip into the rectum. Slowly count to 3 while gently pushing the plunger in until it stops. Slowly count to 3 before removing the syringe from the rectum. Slowly count to 3 while holding the buttocks together to prevent leakage of the medicine.
- Keep the patient on their side facing you. Continue to observe the patient as directed by the patient's doctor.
- Do not reuse the syringe or other materials. If you are using Diastat AcuDial, pull on the plunger until it is completely removed from the syringe. Point the tip of the syringe over the toilet or sink. Replace the plunger into the syringe, gently pushing it in until it stops. Flush the toilet or rinse the sink with water until you can no longer see any gel.
- Throw away all used materials in the trash can. Keep out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- Contact the patient's doctor at once if seizures continue for 15 minutes after using diazepam gel, unless the patient's doctor tells you otherwise.
- Contact the doctor at once if you are alarmed by the frequency or severity of the seizures, or the color or breathing of the patient.
- Contact the doctor at once if the seizures are different from the patient's usual seizure episodes or if the patient is having unusual or serious problems.
- Do NOT use diazepam gel more often than once every 5 days unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Do NOT use diazepam gel more often than 5 times per month unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- If you miss a dose of diazepam gel, contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use diazepam gel.
Important safety information:
- Diazepam gel may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use diazepam gel with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using diazepam gel; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Contact the doctor at once if the patient develops new or worsening seizures.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take diazepam gel before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Use diazepam gel with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially drowsiness or decreased coordination.
- Diazepam gel should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Diazepam gel should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 6 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Diazepam gel may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using diazepam gel while you are pregnant. Diazepam gel is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using diazepam gel. Discuss with your doctor how long you should wait to breast-feed after using diazepam gel.
Some people who use diazepam gel for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you are addicted to diazepam gel and you suddenly stop using it, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include feeling weak, dizzy, or lightheaded. You may also have nausea, muscle twitching, trembling of the hands and fingers, hallucinations, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or seizures.
Possible side effects of diazepam gel:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Decreased coordination; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; nervousness; stomach pain; stuffy nose.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); anxiety; hallucinations; mental or mood changes; muscle spasms or twitching; new or worsened seizures; overexcitement; shortness of breath; sleep disturbances; trouble sleeping; wheezing.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; confusion; loss of consciousness; severe drowsiness; slow reflexes.Proper storage of diazepam gel:
Store diazepam gel at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep diazepam gel, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about diazepam gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Diazepam gel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take diazepam gel or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about diazepam gel. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to diazepam gel. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using diazepam gel.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.