What is diazepam 10mg ?
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 sometimes used with other medications to treat muscle spasms and stiffness, or seizures
About diazepam drug
This drugs belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines.
It’s used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures or fits. It’s also used in hospital to reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating or difficulty sleeping.
It can also be taken to help you relax before an operation or other medical or dental treatments. This is known as a pre-med.
It works by increasing the levels of a calming chemical in your brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Diazepam is available on prescription only.
It comes as tablets, a liquid that you swallow, or in a rectal tube – medicine that’s squeezed into your bottom (anus). It can also be given as an injection in hospital.
- The most common side effect of diazepam is feeling drowsy.
- You’re not recommended to use diazepam for longer than 4 weeks.
- If you take diazepam and feel sleepy, do not drive, cycle or use tools or machines.
- Do not drink alcohol while taking diazepam. It can make you sleep very deeply. You may have breathing problems and difficulty waking up.
- It’s possible to get addicted to diazepam, but you’re less likely to get addicted if you take it at the lowest dose that helps your symptoms, for up to 4 weeks.
- Diazepam is also known as Valium, but this brand is not available in the UK anymore
Before taking this medicine
You should not use diazepam if you are allergic to it, 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.
Diazepam 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;
- 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 diazepam. 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 diazepam 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 and when to take diazepam drug
Your doctor will decide the right dose of diazepam for you. It’s important to take diazepam exactly as your doctor tells you to.
benzodiazepine Dosage for tablets and liquid
The usual dose is:
- anxiety – 2mg, taken 3 times a day, this can be increased to 5mg to 10mg, taken 3 times a day
- sleep problems (related to anxiety) – 5mg to 15mg, taken once a day at bedtime
- muscle spasms in adults – 2mg to 15 mg a day. This can be taken as 1mg twice a day and can go up to 5mg taken 3 times a day. The dose can be increased to up to 20mg, taken 3 times a day if needed
- muscle spasms in children (aged 1 month to 17 years) – the dose varies depending on age. It’s usually taken twice a day, with 10 to 12 hours between each dose
Your dose might be lower if you’re over 65 or have kidney or liver problems or severe breathing problems.
Dosage for rectal tubes
Your doctor will decide the right dose of diazepam rectal tubes for you or your child according to your weight, age and general health.
How to take or use it
How to take benzodiazepine 10mg tablets and liquid
Take diazepam tablets or liquid with a drink of water. You can take them with or without food.
If you’re taking diazepam as a liquid, the medicine will come with a plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure out the right dose. If you do not have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not measure the right amount.
How to use rectal tubes
Diazepam rectal tubes (or rectal diazepam) can be used if you or your child is having a seizure or fit.
If you have been prescribed rectal tubes, it’s important that a family member, friend or carer knows how to give you this medicine. This may vary between different brands. Read the instructions that come with the medicine carefully.
If you’re having a seizure, they also need to know how long to wait before giving you rectal diazepam. This depends on the type of seizure and how long it lasts.
Before prescribing diazepam rectal tubes your doctor will talk to you and your family member or carer about how to recognise the type of seizure that should be treated with this medicine. They will also teach your family member or carer how to give the medicine.
How long to take it for
How long you’ll need to take diazepam for depends on why you’re taking it. It is usually only recommended for a short period of time of up to 4 weeks.
If you’re prescribed diazepam for more than 4 weeks, your dose may be reduced gradually to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
If you forget to take it
If you’re taking diazepam regularly and forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time.
Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.
If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember to take your medicine.
If you take too much
If you take more than your prescribed dose of diazepam you may get symptoms including:
- poor co-ordination or trouble speaking
- feeling sleepy
- a slow or irregular heartbeat
- uncontrolled eye movements
- muscle weakness
- feeling overexcited
The amount of diazepam that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person
What happens if I miss a dose of it ?
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 this drug ?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of this drugs 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 this drug ?
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.
diazepam side effects
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.
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 diazepam side effects may include:
- feeling tired;
- muscle weakness; or
- problems with balance or muscle movement.
After you stop using diazepam 10mg tablet, 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.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect diazepam drug?
Taking diazepam with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.