diazepam, Valium (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of diazepam are:

  • drowsiness,
  • fatigue, and
  • ataxia (loss of balance).

Other important side effects include:

WARNING: Diazepam can lead to addiction (dependency), especially when higher dosages are used over prolonged periods of time. In patients addicted to diazepam or after prolonged use, abrupt discontinuation may cause symptoms of withdrawal such as:

Seizures can occur in more severe cases of withdrawal. Therefore, after extended use, diazepam should be slowly tapered under a doctor's supervision rather than abruptly stopped.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 2, 5 and 10 mg. Oral Solution: 1 mg/ml, 5 mg/ml. Injection Solution: 5 mg/ml. Intramuscular Device: 10 mg/2 ml. Rectal Gel: 2.5, 10 and 20 mg.

STORAGE: Diazepam should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

DOSING: Diazepam may be taken with or without food. Diazepam is disposed of by the liver and excreted mainly by the kidney. Dosages of diazepam may need to be lowered in patients with abnormal kidney function. The usual oral diazepam dose for anxiety or seizures is 2-10 mg given 2-4 times daily. The usual rectal dose is 0.2-0.5 mg/kg and depends on the age of the patient.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Alcohol or medications that cause sedation may add to the sedative effects of diazepam. Patients taking benzodiazepines should avoid such combinations.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/26/2014


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