Diazepam Side Effects: ¬†Brand name Valium. Diazepam is one of the oldest members of the benzodiazepine family of anti-anxiety medications. It is available in 2 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg tablets as well as 5 mg per five ML and 5 mg per ML solutions for oral intake. It’s also available for I am and IV use. Most of the diazepam side effects are directly related to its sedative properties. The indications for diazepam include anxiety, preoperative sedation, procedural sedation, avoidance of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, treatment of muscle spasm, as an anticonvulsant both in status epilepticus and as adjunctive therapy in seizure disorders. For procedural sedation as well as for treatment of status epilepticus is usually given intravenously, and for other indications is usually given orally alloy can also be given intramuscularly.

Common Diazepam Side Effects: almost everyone taking diazepam will have sedation to some degree or another. This is generally dose-related and a great deal of individual variation is noted. Tolerance to these side effects is noted by most patients on used for more than a few days. Most of the common side effects are related to its central nervous system sedation or depressant activity and are often described as drowsiness, fatigue, confusion, depression, amnesia, diplopia, dizziness, and dysarthria. Common gastrointestinal diazepam side effects include constipation, nausea, dry mouth, and hyper salivation. Ataxia, headache, tremor, dystonia, urinary retention, incontinence, dizziness, irritability and disinhibition, change in libido, and rash are also described as common diazepam side effects. With intravenous use either phlebitis or venous thrombosis are common. Urinary and fecal incontinence are fairly common diazepam side effects.

Serious Diazepam Side Effects: many of the most serious diazepam side effects are related to its respiratory depression. This can lead to respiratory arrest and subsequent cardiac arrest and death. Additional serious diazepam side effects include physical dependency and abuse. Abrupt withdrawal can lead to anxiety, tremor, and seizures. Paradoxical central nervous system stimulation is occasionally noted as a serious diazepam side effect. Seizures, suicidality, bradycardia, severe hypotension, syncope, and cardiovascular collapse are also occasionally noted as serious diazepam side effects. Blood disgraces and jaundice are uncommon serious diazepam side effects. Practically many physicians note that physical dependence as well as psychological dependence and difficulty getting patients to discontinue diazepam use is felt to be a serious concern.

Diazepam Cautions and Drug Interactions: diazepam uses contraindicated sodium oxybate. The use of diazepam with a large number of medications needs to be either avoided or an alternative medication considered. For complete list of these medications see the manufacturers prescribing information. Some examples of the medications that are fairly commonly used where avoidance or alternative medication should be considered include cimetidine, the clarithromycins, cyclosporine, fluoxetine, the A’s goal antifungal medications, omeprazole, and several the proton pump inhibitors. Diazepam is extensively metabolized in the liver using the CYP 450 especially the 2C19 and 3A4 substrate pathways. This makes diazepam used with a large normal number of medications that use the CYP 450 pathway of hepatic metabolism a concern. Again for complete list of these medications see the manufacturers prescribing guidelines but commonly used examples include amiodarone, the barbiturates, several calcium channel blockers, cetirizine, dantrolene, erythromycin, gabapentin, grapefruit, green tea, isoniazid, milk thistle, mirtazapine, passionflower, rifampin, and topiramate. The use of diazepam with almost any medication that can cause sedation or central nervous system depression warrants careful monitoring or dose adjustment. The use of diazepam with alcohol can be a lethal combination leading to severe central nervous system depression and respiratory arrest or cardiovascular system collapse.

Diazepam Safety in Pregnancy and Lactation: diazepam is considered pregnancy category D and is considered possibly unsafe during lactation.

Withdrawal From Diazepam: abrupt avoidance of long-term days and you should be avoided. Tapering the dose gradually prior to discontinuation is appropriate if a patient is considered at risk for physical dependence. The symptoms of diazepam withdrawal may include anxiety, irritability, agitation and even more serious symptoms like dysphoria, confusion, hallucinations, sensory and auditory disturbances and hallucinations, and psychosis. Seizures, muscle twitching, muscle cramps and abdominal cramps, gastrointestinal disturbances, tachycardia and diaphoresis are additional potential diazepam withdrawal symptoms.

Unusual Diazepam Side Effects: although most of the common and serious diazepam side effects are predictable and are either related to its propensity to cause physical the pendants or central nervous system depression, the multitude of hepatic metabolism drug interactions and additive central nervous system depression effects when used with other medications for its special consideration. Here is another benzo side effects post you can read about ativan.

Historical Perspective: diazepam was one of the earliest effective medications for anxiety and more commonly known by its original brand name Valium was commonly used to treat patients, especially women, with nearly every psychological symptoms from anxiety to loneliness and depression. It’s propensity for causing physical tolerance and dependence made it commonly become a real problem for these patients to discontinue diazepam use.


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