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, 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.
- Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking diazepam and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- 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.
- Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, blurred vision, or unsteadiness may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
- Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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).
- Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: slow/shallow breathing.