What is Diazepam?

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine medication. It works by affecting chemicals in the brain, it puts the unbalanced chemicals back to the correct levels and reduces anxiety. Diazepam is often used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and muscle spasms. Diazepam can also be used with other medications to treat seizures.

Important Information about Diazepam

If you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea you should not take Diazepam.

Diazepam should not be taken if you are pregnant, it can cause harm to the unborn baby.

Do not take this medication with alcohol. The effects of alcohol can be drastically increased by Diazepam.

Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, asthma or other breathing problems, kidney or liver disease, seizures, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts before taking Diazepam.

Diazepam Side Effects

Aong with the needed effects of Diazepam there are also many side effects associated with this medication. If you experience any of the following side effects to Diazepam contact your Doctor, including but not limited to;

  • Shakiness and unsteady walk
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination

Overdose symptoms include;

  • Change in consciousness
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • lack of coordination
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of strength or energy
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • sleepiness
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness

Other common side effects, often not requiring medical attention, include but are not limited to;

  • Constipation
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • double vision
  • dry mouth
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increase in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • increased interest in sexual intercourse
  • increased watering of mouth
  • indigestion
  • loss of sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • passing of gas
  • seeing double
  • sensation of spinning

Diazepam Use

Diazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and muscle spasms. It works by re-balancing chemicals in the brain associated with anxiety.

Diazepam may also be used to to treat seizure disorders when used in combination with other medications.

Adult Use:

  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • ICU Agitation
  • Muscle Spasm
  • Seizures
  • Endoscopy or Radiology Premedication
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Light Anesthesia

Pediatric Use:

  • Seizures
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle Spasm
  • Seizure Prophylaxis
  • Light Sedation
  • Tetanus

 

Diazepam Dosage and Directions

Adult Dosage

  • Anxiety
    • Oral dose of 2 to 10 mg 2 to 4 times a day.
    • IM or IV dose of 2 to 5 mg to treat moderate moderate anxiety or 5 to 10 mg to treat severe anxiety for one dose. Dosing may be repeat in 3 to 4 hours, if necessary.
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
    • Oral dose of 10 mg 3 to 4 times during the first 24 hours, then 5 mg 3 to 4 times a day as needed.
    • IM or IV dose of 5 to 10 mg one time. May repeat in 3 to 4 hours, if necessary.
  • ICU Agitation
    • Initial IV dose of 0.02 to 0.08 mg/kg  over 2 to 5 minutes every 0.5 to 2 hours to control acute agitation.
    • Maintenance IV dose of 0.4 to 0.2 mg/kg/hr by continuous infusion.
  • Muscle Spasm
    • Oral dose of 2 to 10 mg 3 to 4 times a day.
    • IM or IV dose of 5 to 10 mg initially, then 5 to 10 mg in 3 to 4 hours, if necessary. Patients suffering from tetanus may require a larger dose.
  • Seizures
    • Oral dose of 2 to 10 mg 2 to 4 times a day.
    • Rectal gel dose of 0.2 mg/kg. This dose may be repeated in 4 to 12 hours.
  • Endoscopy or Radiology Premedication
    • IV dose of 10 mg, maximum of 20 mg to produce the desired sedation in some patients.
    • IM dose of  5 to 10 mg 30 minutes prior to the procedure.
  • Status Epilepticus
    • IV or IM dose of 5 to 10 mg initially, may be repeated at 10 to 15 minute intervals up to a maximum dose of 30 mg.

Pediatric Dose

  • Seizures
    • Rectal Gel Dose ;
      • 2 to 5 years: 0.5 mg/kg
      • 6 to 11 years: 0.3 mg/kg
      • 12 years or greater: 0.2 mg/kg
  • Status Epilepticus
    • Neonates: IV dose of 0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg/dose given over 3 to 5 minutes, every 15 to 30 minutes to a maximum total dose of 2 mg.
    • Infants greater than 30 days old and Children: IV: 0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg dose given over 3 to 5 minutes, every 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Anxeity
    • Oral dose of 0.12 to 0.8 mg/kg/day in divided dose every 6 to 8 hours.
    • IM dose of 0.04 to 0.3 mg/kg  every 2 to 4 hours, maximum of 0.6 mg/kg in 8 hours.
  • Muscle Spasm
    • Oral dose of 0.12 to 0.8 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours.
    • IM dose of 0.04 to 0.3 mg/kg every 2 to 4 hours, maximum of 0.6 mg/kg in 8 hours
  • Seizure Prophylaxis
    • Oral dose of 0.12 to 0.8 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 6 to 8 hours.
    • IM dose of 0.04 to 0.3 mg/kg every 2 to 4 hours as,  maximum of 0.6 mg/kg in 8 hours.
  • Sedation in Conscious procedures
    • Patients ages 1 to 12 years oral dosage of 0.2 to 0.3 mg/kg orally 45 to 60 minutes before procedure, up to a maximum of 10 mg
    • Patients ages 13 to 18 years oral dosage of 5 mg orally 45 to 60 minutes before procedure, may repeat with 2.5 mg dose.
  • Full Sedation
    • Patients 1 to 12 years:
      • Oral dose of 0.02 to 0.3 mg/kg every 6 to 8 hours as needed.
      • IM dose of 0.04 to 0.3 mg/kg IM every 2 to 4 hours as needed, up to a maximum of 0.6 mg/kg in 8 hours.
    • Patients 13 to 18 years:
    • Oral dose of 2 to 10 mg 2 to 4 times a day as needed.
    • IM or IV dose of 2 to 10 mg 2 to 4 times a day as needed.