Midazolam has been associated with respiratory depression and respiratory arrest, especially when used for sedation in noncritical care settings. Use only in settings that can provide for continuous monitoring of respiratory and cardiac function. The initial dose and all subsequent doses should always be titrated slowly. Midazolam injection should not be administered by rapid injection in the neonatal population as severe hypotension and seizures have been reported .
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 5, 2018.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
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Therapeutic Class: Anesthetic Adjunct
Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Short or Intermediate Acting
Uses for midazolam
Midazolam injection is used to produce sleepiness or drowsiness and relieve anxiety before surgery or certain procedures. When midazolam is used before surgery, the patient will not remember some of the details about the procedure. Midazolam injection is also used as an anesthesia to produce loss of consciousness before and during surgery.
Midazolam injection is also used to treat status epilepticus, a severe type of seizure where there is more than one seizure within 5 minutes.
Midazolam 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.
Midazolam is given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before using midazolam
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 midazolam, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to midazolam 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 midazolam injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of midazolam injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, heart, or lung problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving midazolam.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
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 midazolam, 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 midazolam 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 midazolam 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
- Isavuconazonium Sulfate
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Opium Alkaloids
- Sodium Oxybate
Using midazolam 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.
- Ginkgo Biloba
- 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.
Using midazolam with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use midazolam, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of midazolam. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol or abuse, or history of or
- Drug abuse or dependence, or history of or
- Lung or breathing problems or
- Muscle or nerve problem (eg, myasthenia gravis)—Midazolam may make these conditions worse.
- Glaucoma, narrow-angle—Use is not recommended in patients with this condition.
- Heart failure or
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease or
- Obesity (overweight)—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of the slower removal of the medicine from the body.
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Lung or breathing problems (eg, COPD) , severe or
- Patients in shock or with loss of consciousness (coma) or
- Sleep apnea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep)—Use with caution. May increase risk for severe and serious breathing problems (eg, respiratory depression).
Proper use of midazolam
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you midazolam. It is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
After you receive a shot of midazolam, your doctor will watch you closely to make sure it is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Precautions while using midazolam
It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely after you receive midazolam to make sure it is working properly and to check for any unwanted effects.
Midazolam may cause respiratory depression (serious breathing problem that can be life-threatening), especially when used with narcotic pain medicines. Tell your doctor if you are using any narcotic medicine, such as droperidol, fentanyl, meperidine, morphine, or secobarbital.
Midazolam contains benzyl alcohol which may cause serious reactions to newborn, premature, or low-birthweight infants. Talk this with your doctor if you are concerned.
Midazolam may cause drowsiness, trouble with thinking, trouble with controlling movements, or trouble with seeing clearly. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how midazolam affects you.
Midazolam 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 stop taking midazolam. Check with your doctor before using any of the above while you are receiving midazolam.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Midazolam 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 or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- decreased awareness or responsiveness
- decreased urine output
- difficulty walking, speaking, or writing
- feeling sad or empty
- lack of appetite
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- loss of consciousness
- loss of interest or pleasure
- memory loss
- muscle twitching
- nightmares or unusually vivid dreams
- rapid weight gain
- severe sleepiness
- strong urge to urinate
- swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- troubled breathing
- unable to speak
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
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:
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
- Muscle stiffness
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about midazolam
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