Health Guide

Diazepam (By mouth)

Diazepam (dye-AZ-e-pam)

Treats anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, and seizures.

Brand Name(s):

Valium, diazePAM Intensol

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to diazepam, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or you have narrow-angle glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, sleep apnea, or severe breathing problems. Do not give this medicine to any child 6 months of age or younger.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Oral liquid: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how diazepam works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Cimetidine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, ketoconazole, omeprazole, phenytoin, or theophylline
    • MAO inhibitor
    • Medicine to treat depression or mental health problem
    • Medicine to treat seizures
    • Phenothiazine medicine
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, lung or breathing problems, or a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, mental health problems, or seizures.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Respiratory depression (serious breathing problem that can be life-threatening), when used with narcotic pain medicines
  • This medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, problems with muscle control or coordination
  • Extreme drowsiness or weakness, slow heartbeat, trouble breathing
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Unusual mood or behavior, worsening depression, thoughts about hurting yourself, trouble sleeping

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision, changes in vision
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • Tiredness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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