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Diazepam

Diazepam

Where is Diazepam used?

Diazepam is used for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, and seizures. This is a benzodiazepine medication that can also be used to relieve muscle spasms and to provide sedation before medical procedures. This calms the brain and nerves that makes an abnormal overactivity in the brain.

How does Diazepam work?

Valium (Diazepam) works by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain. GABA means gamma-aminobutyric acid. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells in the nervous system and the brain. They are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural ‘nerve-calming’ agent. It helps keep the nerve activity in the brain in balance. It is also involved in relaxing muscles, reducing anxiety, and inducing sleepiness. By increasing the activity of GABA in the brain, this medication increases these calming effects.

How is Diazepam taken?

The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response. This is to be taken by mouth with a full glass of water. You may take the tablet with or without food. Take it at the same time each day or as directed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose or use it more often or for longer than prescribed.

Your doctor may recommend that you decrease your dose gradually when it is time to stop taking it. This is to lessen the risk of you experiencing withdrawal effects. Follow carefully any instructions your doctor gives to you.

What are the side-effects of Diazepam?

  • Tired feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Spinning sensation
  • Constipation
  • Memory problems
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Skin rash
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Itching

Call your doctor right away if these happen:

  • Severe drowsiness
  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • Confusion or hallucinations

What are the precautions in taking Diazepam?

  • Diazepam is likely to affect your reactions and capability to drive. You should not drive until you know how you react. Be mindful that the effects of this medicine can last into the following day.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are on this treatment. It will increase the risk of sedative side-effects.
  • While taking this medication, avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit. It may increase the change of side effects with this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have any allergies.
  • If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, talk with your doctor first before using this medication.
  • If you are due to have any dental treatment or an operation, tell the dentist or doctor if you are taking Diazepam. This medication increases the effects of some anesthetics.
  • This is not recommended for use in people with untreated open-angle glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma.
  • Using Diazepam with others medicine that makes you sleepy can cause dangerous side effects. Let your doctor know if you regularly use narcotic pain medicine or a sleeping pill.
  • People over 65 years must not take this medication. If you must, it is very important to consult your doctor.