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Diazepam is used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal. The injection form is used when prompt relief is desired or when the medication cannot be taken by mouth.
This medication is also used for the short-term treatment of serious seizures that do not stop (status epilepticus). It is not for ongoing daily use to prevent seizures.
Diazepam is also used before a surgery or procedure to cause drowsiness, decrease anxiety, and to help the patient forget what happened during the surgery/procedure.
This medication works by calming the brain and nerves. Diazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.
This medication is given by injection into a vein or deep into a muscle as directed by your doctor. You should be closely monitored for several hours after receiving this medication.
If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Giving the medication too fast into a vein can cause serious side effects. If giving this medication into a vein, inject it slowly into a large vein. Do not inject this medication into an artery or into the skin.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as shaking, abdominal/muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, anxiety, restlessness, seizures). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used diazepam for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
See also Warning section.
Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, unsteadiness, or pain/burning/redness at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as memory problems, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, restlessness, depression), trouble speaking, trouble walking, muscle weakness, shaking (tremors), trouble urinating, yellowing eyes/skin, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills), fainting, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: slow/shallow breathing, chest pain.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before using diazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to oxazepam or temazepam; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis), lung/breathing problems (such as COPD, sleep apnea), mental/mood disorders (such as depression, thoughts of suicide, psychosis), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), glaucoma, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, brain problems that could affect breathing (such as decreased consciousness, head injury).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
For some children, instead of having a calming effect, diazepam may have the opposite effect, causing mental/mood changes (such as agitation, hallucinations, restlessness).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness and loss of coordination. These side effects can increase the risk of falling. For some older adults, instead of having a calming effect, diazepam may have the opposite effect, causing mental/mood changes (such as agitation, hallucinations, restlessness).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away. Consult your doctor for more details.
This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
See also Warning section.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: clozapine, fluvoxamine, orlistat, sodium oxybate.
The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is used with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana, other drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, slow reflexes, slow/shallow breathing, fainting, loss of consciousness.
Not applicable. This medication is not usually given on a regular schedule.
Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.