Diazepam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen)). It is thought that benzodiazepines work by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.Diazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Diazepam is sometimes used with other medications to treat muscle spasms and stiffness, or seizures.
How to use Diazepam
- Diazepam is used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. It is also used to relieve muscle spasms and to provide sedation before medical procedures. This medication works by calming the brain and nerves. Diazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.
- Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
- If you are using the concentrated solution, use the medicine dropper provided and mix the measured dose with a small amount of liquid or soft food (such as applesauce, pudding). Take all of the mixture right away. Do not store the mixture for later use.
- The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
- 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.
- Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to diazepam: 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.
- 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 diazepam side effects may include:
- feeling tired;
- muscle weakness; or
- problems with balance or muscle movement.
After you stop using diazepam, 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.