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Midazolam Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of midazolam include: apnea and bradypnea. Other side effects include: variable blood pressure. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to midazolam: oral solution, oral syrup, oral tablet

Other dosage forms:

Along with its needed effects, midazolam 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 while taking midazolam:

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • choking
  • confusion
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • fast heartbeat
  • hyperventilation
  • irregular heartbeats
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • irritability
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • noisy breathing
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • restlessness
  • shaking
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to speak
  • unusual tiredness
  • weakness
  • wheezing


  • Attack, assault, or force
  • changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • headache
  • lack or loss of self-control
  • loss of balance
  • mood swings
  • noisy breathing
  • not breathing
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • sensation of spinning
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • sleepiness
  • slow to respond
  • slurred speech
  • trouble in speaking
  • unconsciousness
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking midazolam:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Change in consciousness
  • difficulty with coordination
  • loss of consciousness
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

Some side effects of midazolam 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:

More common

Less common

  • Rash


  • Blurred vision
  • double vision
  • gagging
  • hiccups
  • seeing double
  • watering of mouth and drooling

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to midazolam: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution, oral syrup


The most commonly reported side effects with oral formulations include emesis and nausea. Decreased tidal volume/respiratory rate and apnea were most commonly reported with parenteral formulations.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Respiratory adverse events (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Respiratory depression, hypoxia, laryngospasm, upper airway obstruction, rhonchi, congestion
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sneezing/rhinorrhea
Frequency not reported: Apnea, hypercarbia, desaturation, stridor, hiccough

Very common (10% or more): Decreased tidal volume/respiratory rate (up to 23.3%), apnea (up to 15.4%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hiccoughs, coughing, desaturation
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Dyspnea, hiccup, laryngospasm, respiratory arrest
Frequency not reported: Respiratory depression
Postmarketing reports: Bronchospasm, hyperventilation, wheezing, shallow respirations, airway obstruction, tachypnea, dysphonia, yawning, continued phonation[Ref]

Respiratory adverse events included hypoxia, laryngospasm, rhonchi, coughing, respiratory depression, airway obstruction, upper airway congestion, and shallow respirations; these side effects occurred more frequently at higher doses.

Decreased tidal volume/respiratory rate occurred in 23.3% of patients given IV formulations and in 10.8% of patients given IM formulations.

Apnea occurred in 15.4% of patients given IV formulations.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Emesis/vomiting (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Nausea
Frequency not reported: Gagging, salivation

Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Constipation, dry mouth
Postmarketing reports: Acid taste, excessive salivation, retching, toothache[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Sedation/prolonged sedation, somnolence, depressed levels of consciousness
Frequency not reported: Drooling, dizziness, ataxia, vertigo, dysarthria, loss of balance

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, oversedation, drowsiness, seizure-like activity
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Movement disorder, ataxia, dizziness, seizure, anterograde amnesia
Frequency not reported: Involuntary movements, hyperactivity, decreased alertness, somnolence, prolonged/postoperative sedation, convulsions/drug withdrawal convulsions, feeling faint, tonic/clonic movements and muscle tremor
Postmarketing reports: Vasovagal episode, retrograde amnesia, grogginess, athetoid movements, lethargy, slurred speech, paresthesia, loss of balance, lightheadedness, feeling of burning, emergence delirium or agitation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Bradycardia, bigeminy
Frequency not reported: Increased heart rate, cardiac arrest, heart failure, decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure

Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, vasodilation
Frequency not reported: Thrombophlebitis, thrombosis, variations in blood pressure and pulse rate
Postmarketing reports: Bigeminy, premature ventricular contractions, tachycardia, nodal rhythm, hematoma, cardiovascular collapse, cardiovascular reactions, severe cardiorespiratory adverse events[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): IM injection site pain, IV site tenderness/pain during injection/redness/induration
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): IM injection site induration/redness/muscle stiffness, IV site phlebitis
Frequency not reported: Injection site erythema, injection site pain
Postmarketing reports: Hive-like elevation at injection site, warmth or coldness at injection site[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Agitation
Frequency not reported: Dysphoria, disinhibition, excitation, aggression, mood swings, hallucinations, confusion, inappropriate/adverse behavior, behavioral/emotional disorders, euphonia, libido disorders, restlessness, irritability, delusions, anger eruptions, nightmares, psychosis, physical dependency, withdrawal symptoms, abuse, depression (existing, unobserved depression)

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Aggression/aggressiveness, agitation, anger, hallucination, hostility, confusion/confusional state, euphoric mood/euphoria
Frequency not reported: Rage, excitement/paroxysmal excitement, abuse, physical drug dependence and withdrawal syndrome
Postmarketing reports: Argumentativeness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, sleep disturbance, insomnia, nightmares, dysphoria, irritability, tension, mood changes, dreaming during sleep[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pruritus and urticaria

Frequency not reported: Angioedema
Postmarketing reports: Hives, rash, pruritus, skin reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Diplopia, strabismus, blurred vision

Common (1% to 10%): Nystagmus
Postmarketing reports: Blurred vision, diplopia, pinpoint pupils, visual disturbance, difficulty focusing eyes, cyclic movement of the eyelids[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Fatigue, falls

Common (1% to 10%): Paradoxical reaction
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Fatigue, falls, assault/physical assault
Postmarketing reports: Prolonged emergence from anesthesia, blocked ears, chills, weakness, swelling, dreaming during emergence[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity, anaphylactic shock
Postmarketing reports: Allergic reaction, anaphylactoid reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Muscle weakness, fractures

Frequency not reported: Fractures[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Versed (midazolam)." Roche Laboratories, Nutley, NJ.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.