Diazepam (Valium) | 10mg
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Diazepam (Valium) | 10mg

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Diazepam 10mg, first marketed as Valium , is a medicine of the benzodiazepine family that typically produces a calming effect. It is commonly used to treat a range of conditions including anxiety, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, muscle spasms, seizures, trouble sleeping, and restless legs syndrome.

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Valium

 

Generic name: diazepam (oral) (dye AZ e pam)
Brand name: Valium
Drug class: Benzodiazepine anticonvulsantsBenzodiazepines

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Dec 14, 2021.

What is Valium?

Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). It is thought that diazepam works by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Valium is sometimes used with other medications to treat muscle spasms and stiffness, or seizures.

Warnings

You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam or similar medicines (Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, and others), or if you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea.

Diazepam can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication or alcohol.

MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor. You may have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use. Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer.

Get medical help right away if you stop using Valium and have symptoms such as: unusual muscle movements, being more active or talkative, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, or thoughts about suicide.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam, or if you have:

  • myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder);
  • a severe breathing problem;
  • sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep);
  • narrow-angle glaucoma;
  • untreated or uncontrolled open-angle glaucoma; or
  • severe liver disease.

Valium should not be given to a child younger than 6 months old. Do not give this medicine to a child without a doctor’s advice.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • breathing problems;
  • glaucoma;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • seizures (unless you are taking diazepam to treat a seizure disorder);
  • a drug or alcohol addiction; or
  • depression, a mood disorder, or suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Valium. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your family or caregivers should also watch for sudden changes in your behavior.

May harm an unborn baby. Do not use if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. If you use Valium during pregnancy, your baby could be born with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, and may need medical treatment for several weeks.

Do not start or stop seizure medication during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice. Diazepam may harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Preventing seizures may outweigh these risks. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

There may be other seizure medications that are safer to use during pregnancy.

You should not breastfeed.

How should I take Valium?

Take Valium exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Never use Valium in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.

Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medicine where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Measure liquid medicine with the supplied measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Valium should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medicine for longer than 4 months without your doctor’s advice.

Do not stop using Valium without asking your doctor. You may have increased seizures or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use.

You will need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep your medicine in a place where no one can use it improperly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of diazepam can be fatal if you take it with alcohol, opioid medicine, or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, loss of balance or coordination, limp or weak muscles, slow breathing, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking Valium?

Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Grapefruit may interact with diazepam and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Valium side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Valium: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Diazepam can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication or alcohol. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Tell your doctor right away if you have new or sudden changes in mood or behavior, including new or worse depression or anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, more active or talkative, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe drowsiness or dizziness;
  • trouble breathing;
  • confusion, paranoia; or
  • new or worsening seizures.

Drowsiness or dizziness may last longer in older adults. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury.

Common Valium side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;
  • feeling tired;
  • muscle weakness; or
  • problems with balance or muscle movement.

After you stop using Valium, get medical help right away if you have symptoms such as: unusual muscle movements, being more active or talkative, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, suicidal thoughts or actions.

Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer after stopping this medicine suddenly. Tell your doctor if you have ongoing anxiety, depression, problems with memory or thinking, trouble sleeping, ringing in your ears, a burning or prickly feeling, or a crawling sensation under your skin.

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Diazepam (Valium) | 10mg

Diazepam (Valium) | 10mg:

Diazepam, first marketed as Valium, is a medicine of the benzodiazepine family that acts as an anxiolytic. It is commonly used to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety, seizures, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, muscle spasms, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome. It may also be used to cause memory loss during certain medical procedures. It can be taken by mouth, inserted into the rectum, injected into muscle, injected into a vein or used as a nasal spray. When given into a vein, effects begin in one to five minutes and last up to an hour. By mouth, effects begin after 15 to 60 minutes.

Common side effects include sleepiness and trouble with coordination. Serious side effects are rare. They include suicide, decreased breathing, and an increased risk of seizures if used too frequently in those with epilepsy. Occasionally, excitement or agitation may occur. Long-term use can result in tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms on dose reduction. Abrupt stopping after long-term use can be potentially dangerous. After stopping, cognitive problems may persist for six months or longer. It is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Its mechanism of action works by increasing the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Diazepam was patented in 1959 by Hoffmann-La Roche. It has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world since its launch in 1963.[9] In the United States it was the best-selling medication between 1968 and 1982, selling more than 2 billion tablets in 1978 alone. In 2019, it was the 117th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 5 million prescriptions. In 1985 the patent ended, and there are now more than 500 brands available on the market.

Medical uses

Diazepam tablets (10, 5, and 2 mg)

Diazepam is mainly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks and symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. It is also used as a premedication for inducing sedation, anxiolysis, or amnesia before certain medical procedures (e.g., endoscopy). In 2020, it was approved for use in the United States as a nasal spray to interrupt seizure activity in people with epilepsy. Diazepam is the most commonly used benzodiazepine for “tapering” benzodiazepine dependence due to the drug’s comparatively long half-life, allowing for more efficient dose reduction. Benzodiazepines have a relatively low toxicity in overdose.

Diazepam has a number of uses including:

  • Treatment of anxiety, panic attacks, and states of agitation
  • Treatment of neurovegetative symptoms associated with vertigo
  • Treatment of the symptoms of alcohol, opiate, and benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Short-term treatment of insomnia
  • Treatment of muscle spasms
  • Treatment of tetanus, together with other measures of intensive treatment
  • Adjunctive treatment of spastic muscular paresis (paraplegia/tetraplegia) caused by cerebral or spinal cord conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury (long-term treatment is coupled with other rehabilitative measures)
  • Palliative treatment of stiff person syndrome
  • Pre- or postoperative sedation, anxiolysis or amnesia (e.g., before endoscopic or surgical procedures)
  • Treatment of complications with stimulant overdoses and psychosis, such as cocaine or methamphetamine

Used in treatment of organophosphate poisoning and reduces the risk of seizure induced brain and cardiac damage.

  • Preventive treatment of oxygen toxicity during hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Dosages should be determined on an individual basis, depending on the condition being treated, severity of symptoms, patient body weight, and any other conditions the person may have.

Seizure

Intravenous diazepam or lorazepam are first-line treatments for status epilepticus.However, intravenous lorazepam has advantages over intravenous diazepam, including a higher rate of terminating seizures and a more prolonged anticonvulsant effect. Diazepam gel was better than placebo gel in reducing the risk of non-cessation of seizures. Diazepam is rarely used for the long-term treatment of epilepsy because tolerance to its anticonvulsant effects usually develops within six to 12 months of treatment, effectively rendering it useless for that purpose.

The anticonvulsant effects of diazepam can help in the treatment of seizures due to a drug overdose or chemical toxicity as a result of exposure to sarin, VX, or soman (or other organophosphate poisons), lindane, chloroquine, physostigmine, or pyrethroids.

Diazepam is sometimes used intermittently for the prevention of febrile seizures that may occur in children under five years of age. Recurrence rates are reduced, but side effects are common so the decision to treat febrile seizures (which are benign in nature) with medication should use this as part of the evaluation. Long-term use of diazepam for the management of epilepsy is not recommended; however, a subgroup of individuals with treatment-resistant epilepsy benefit from long-term benzodiazepines, and for such individuals, clorazepate has been recommended due to its slower onset of tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects.

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