Diazepam is a member of a class of medicines known as benzodiazepines. It’s mainly used to treat muscle spasms, seizures, and anxiety. In addition, it’s also used in rehabilitation centers to reduce symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, like difficulty sleeping or sweating. Off-label use for Diazepam involves the treatment of spasticity in people with cerebral palsy and sedation in the ICU.
How Diazepam Treats Panic Disorder and Anxiety
The medicine impacts (GABA) gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors. It is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is linked to the regulation of anxiety, relaxation, and sleep. Diazepam delays the action of the central nervous system.
This reduces your feelings of agitation and nervousness and produces a sense of relaxation and calm. Thus, Diazepam also helps decrease the intensity of anxiety and panic attack symptoms.
Diazepam gets into the central nervous system rapidly but can also grow over time, which makes it hard to find the safest and most effective dose of the medication.
Precautions While Taking Diazepam
- It is not recommended to take this medication for longer than 4 weeks.
- The side effects of Diazepam include feeling drowsy and sleepy.
- Never drink alcohol or use any opioids while taking Diazepam. It can make you fall into intense sleep. You may have difficulty waking up and breathing problems.
- Diazepam is commonly known as Valium; however, this brand is not available in drugstores anymore.
- It’s effortless to get addicted to this drug; therefore, it is recommended to use Diazepam at the lowest dose that cures your symptoms for four weeks or less.
Usage of Diazepam
Dosage for liquid and tablets
- Sleep problems – 5mg to 20mg, once a day only at bedtime.
- Panic and anxiety – 2mg, taken thrice daily; this can be increased to 5 to 10 milligrams, taken twice a day.
- Muscle aches in children (aged 1 to 16 years) – the dose are dependent on the child’s age. It’s typically taken once a day, with 8 to 10 hours between each dose.
- Muscle aches in adults – 2mg to 15mg daily. This can be taken in two or three doses. You can increase the dosage up to 20mg, taken a day thrice if needed.
You should take a low dose of this medication if you’re over 65 or have liver or kidney problems or severe breathing problems. Also, remember that your doctor will decide the dosage of Diazepam for you, and it’s essential to use the medicine exactly as the doctor suggested.
Like any other benzodiazepine, the side effects of Diazepam include respiratory and CNS depression, withdrawal syndrome, and dependence.
Serious side effects of Diazepam include:
- Respiratory depression
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Dependency and abuse
- Paradoxical CNS stimulation
- Cardiovascular collapse
Typical side effects of Diazepam include:
- Anterograde amnesia
- Local injection site reaction