What is/are Diazepam?
Diazepam /daɪˈæzɨpæm/, first marketed as Valium /ˈvæliəm/ by Hoffmann-La Roche, is a benzodiazepine drug.
It is commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures (including status epilepticus), muscle spasms (such as in tetanus cases), restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal, opiate withdrawal syndrome and Ménière's disease. It may also be used before certain medical procedures (such as endoscopies) to reduce tension and anxiety, and in some surgical procedures to induce amnesia.
It possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and amnestic properties. The pharmacological action of diazepam enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA by binding to the benzodiazepine site on the GABAA receptor (via the constituent chlorine atom) leading to central nervous system depression.
Adverse effects of diazepam include anterograde amnesia (especially at higher doses) and sedation, as well as paradoxical effects such as excitement, rage or worsening of seizures in epileptics. Benzodiazepines also can cause or worsen depression. Long-term effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome upon dose reduction. After cessation of benzodiazepines, cognitive deficits may persist for at least six months and it was suggested that longer than six months may be needed for recovery from some deficits. Diazepam also has physical dependence potential and can cause serious problems of physical dependence with long term use. Compared to other benzodiazepines, though, physical withdrawal from diazepam following long term use is usually far more mild due to its long elimination half-life. Nevertheless, urgent action by national governments to improve prescribing practices has been recommended. Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence, with its low potency, long duration of action and the availability of low-dose tablets making it ideal for gradual dose reduction and the circumvention of withdrawal symptoms.
Advantages of diazepam are a rapid onset of action and high efficacy rates, which is important for managing acute seizures, anxiety attacks and panic attacks; benzodiazepines also have a relatively low toxicity in overdose. Diazepam is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's Essential Drugs List, which list minimum medical needs for a basic health care system. Diazepam, first synthesized by Leo Sternbach, is used to treat a wide range of conditions, and has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world since its launch in 1963.
Drug Name: VALIUM
BENZODIAZEPINES - ORAL
COMMON VALIUM BRAND NAME(S):
Librium, Serax, Tranxene SD, Valium
VALIUM SIDE EFFECTS:
VALIUM causes drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid tasks requiring alertness. Other side effects may include: stomach upset, blurred vision, headache, confusion, depression, impaired coordination, change in heart rate, trembling, weakness, memory loss, hangover effect (grogginess), dreaming or nightmares. Notify your doctor if you develop: chest pain, change in heart rate, vision changes, yellowing of the eyes or skin. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
HOW TO USE VALIUM:
VALIUM: Take with food or milk if stomach upset occurs. Take exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or take more often than prescribed. Tolerance may develop to VALIUM making it less effective with prolonged use. For insomnia, take 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime. Do not stop taking VALIUM without your doctor's approval. Your dose may have to be gradually decreased if you have been taking it for some time.
VALIUM is used to relieve nervousness and tension or improve sleep disturbances. It is also used to relieve symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as tremors, or used as an anticonvulsant or skeletal muscle relaxant.
Before using VALIUM, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver or kidney disease, drug allergies. Alcohol or other sedative-type drugs can lead to extreme drowsiness. Limit alcohol consumption. Elderly persons are usually more sensitive to the effects of VALIUM. Use cautiously. VALIUM is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Since this medication may appear in breast milk, consult with your doctor before breast-feeding.
VALIUM DRUG INTERACTIONS:
Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: cimetidine, digoxin, disulfiram, levodopa, seizure medication, sleeping pills, narcotic pain medication (e.g., codeine), medication for depression, barbiturates, tranquilizers, sedatives, certain drowsiness-causing antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), drugs used to treat allergies or colds, alcohol use. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Smoking can decrease the effectiveness of VALIUM. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include unconsciousness, reduced reflexes, drowsiness, loss of coordination, or confusion.
Do not share VALIUM with others.
MISSED VALIUM DOSE:
If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose. Do not "double-up" the doses. If taking for seizures, take dose if remembered within 1 hour of the missed dose but do not take if remembered after 1 hour has elapsed.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information on enrollment call Medic Alert(TM) at 1-800-854-1166. In Canada call 1-800-668-1507.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Diazepam, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.