Information on Tablets A-Z
Brand Names:Valium; Valrelease
Medication prescribed:Diazepam is used to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used:Diazepam comes as a tablet, extended-release (long-acting) capsule, and concentrate (liquid) to take by mouth. Do not open, chew, or crush the extended-release capsules; swallow them whole. It usually is taken one to four times a day and may be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take diazepam exactly as directed. Diazepam concentrate (liquid) comes with a specially marked dropper for measuring the dose. Ask your pharmacist to show you how to use the dropper. Dilute the concentrate in water, juice, or carbonated beverages just before taking it. It also may be mixed with applesauce or pudding just before taking the dose. Diazepam can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you to. Tolerance may develop with long-term or excessive use, making the drug less effective. This medication must be taken regularly to be effective. Do not skip doses even if you feel that you do not need them. Do not take diazepam for more than 4 months or stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. Stopping the drug suddenly can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiousness, sleeplessness, and irritability). Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually.
Other uses for this medicine:Diazepam is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and panic attacks. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
Special precautions:Before taking diazepam, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to diazepam, alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Librax), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax), prazepam (Centrax), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), or any other drugs. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antihistamines; cimetadine (Tagamet); digoxin (Lanoxin); disulfiram (Antabuse); fluoxetine (Prozac); isoniazide (INH, Laniazid, Nydrazid); ketoconazole (Nizoral); levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet); medications for depression, seizures, pain, Parkinson's disease, asthma, colds, or allergies; metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL); muscle relaxants; oral contraceptives; probenecid (Benemid); propoxyphene (Darvon); propranolol (Inderal); ranitidine (Zantac); rifampin (Rifadin); sedatives; sleeping pills; theophylline (Theo-Dur); tranquilizers; valproic acid (Depakene); and vitamins. These medications may add to the drowsiness caused by diazepam. if you use antacids, take diazepam first, then wait 1 hour before taking the antacid. tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma; seizures; or lung, heart, or liver disease. tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking diazepam, call your doctor immediately. if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking diazepam. you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you. remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug. tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this drug.
If I forget a dose:If you take several doses per day and miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects:Side effects from diazepam are common and include: drowsiness dizziness tiredness weakness dry mouth diarrhea upset stomach changes in appetite Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: restlessness or excitement constipation difficulty urinating frequent urination blurred vision changes in sex drive or ability If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: seizures shuffling walk persistent, fine tremor or inability to sit still fever difficulty breathing or swallowing severe skin rash yellowing of the skin or eyes irregular heartbeat
What storage conditions:Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose:In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Other information:Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to diazepam. Diazepam can cause false results in urine tests for sugar using Clinistix and Diastix. Diabetic patients should useTesTape to test their urine for sugar. If you are taking diazepam to control seizures and have an increase in their frequency or severity, call your doctor. Your dose may need to be adjusted. If you use diazepam for seizures, carry identification (Medic Alert) stating that you have epilepsy and that you are taking diazepam. Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
More information: Diazepam