Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antianxiety
Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Long Acting
Uses For diazepam
Diazepam injection is used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. It may also be used to treat certain seizure disorders and help relax muscles or relieve muscle spasm.
Diazepam may also be used before a surgery or medical procedure to help relieve stress, nervousness, or anxiety and to reduce memory of the procedure.
Diazepam injection 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.
Diazepam is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using diazepam
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For diazepam, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to diazepam or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of diazepam injection in infants. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of diazepam injection in the elderly. However, difficulty with breathing and heart attack are more likely to occur in the elderly, who are usually more sensitive than younger adults to the effects of diazepam injection. Elderly patients may require a lower dose to help reduce unwanted effects.
|All Trimesters||D||Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.|
Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using diazepam.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving diazepam, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using diazepam with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using diazepam with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Chloral Hydrate
- Eslicarbazepine Acetate
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Sodium Oxybate
Using diazepam with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- St John's Wort
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of diazepam. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol abuse (or history of) or
- Drug abuse or dependence (or history of)—Dependence on diazepam injection may develop.
- Alcohol intoxication or
- Glaucoma or
- Shock—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Breathing problems or lung disease
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Muscle weakness—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper Use of diazepam
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you diazepam. Diazepam is given through a needle placed in one of your veins or as a shot into one of your muscles.
Your doctor may give you or your child a few doses of diazepam until your condition improves, and then you or your child may be switched to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
Precautions While Using diazepam
It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to see if the medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
Using diazepam while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Diazepam may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, clumsy or unsteady, or less alert than they are normally. Also, diazepam may cause double vision or other vision problems. Make sure you know how you react to diazepam before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to think or see well.
Diazepam will add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. CNS depressants are medicines that slow down the nervous system, which may cause drowsiness or make you less alert. Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates (used for seizures); muscle relaxants; or anesthetics (numbing medicines), including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you or your child stop taking diazepam. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you or your child are using diazepam.
Do not stop taking it without checking with your doctor first. Your doctor may want you or your child to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. This may help prevent a worsening of your condition and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms, such as convulsions (seizures), hallucinations, stomach or muscle cramps, tremors, or unusual behavior.
Diazepam Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Shakiness and unsteady walk
- tenderness, pain, swelling, warmth, skin discoloration, and prominent superficial veins over affected area
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- black, tarry stools
- blurred vision
- changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
- chest pain or discomfort
- cold, clammy, or pale skin
- dark urine
- decrease in frequency of urination
- decrease in urine volume
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- fear or nervousness
- irregular heartbeats
- loss of appetite
- loss of bladder control
- lower back or side pain
- muscle spasm
- outbursts of anger
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- shortness of breath
- slow heart rate
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- slurred speech
- sore throat
- trembling or shaking of hands or feet
- trouble in speaking
- trouble sleeping
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unable to sleep
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
- Deep or fast breathing with dizziness
- difficult or troubled breathing
- irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
- numbness of the feet, hands, and around the mouth
- pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- tightness in the chest
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
- Change in consciousness
- lack of coordination
- loss of consciousness
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- difficulty in swallowing
- double vision
- dry mouth
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- feeling sad or empty
- hives or welts
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increase in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- increased interest in sexual intercourse
- increased watering of the mouth
- lack of appetite
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- loss of interest or pleasure
- redness of skin
- seeing double
- sensation of spinning
- trouble concentrating
- uncontrolled eye movements
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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