Diazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Diazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms. It is sometimes used with other medications to treat seizures.
Diazepam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to diazepam or similar medicines (Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Xanax, and others), or if you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea. Do not use diazepam if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
Before you take diazepam, tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, asthma or other breathing problems, kidney or liver disease, seizures, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Do not drink alcohol while taking diazepam. This medicine can increase the effects of alcohol.
Never take more of this medication than your doctor has prescribed. An overdose of diazepam can be fatal.
Diazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Take diazepam exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Diazepam should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 12 weeks (3 months) without your doctor's advice. Do not stop using diazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking diazepam. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Call your doctor at once if you feel that this medicine is not working as well as usual, or if you think you need to use more than usual.
To be sure diazepam is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store diazepam at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Diazepam is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of diazepam can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, loss of balance or coordination, confusion, limp or weak muscles, or fainting.
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Do not drink alcohol while taking diazepam. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to diazepam: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using diazepam and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger;
depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
hyperactivity, agitation, aggression, hostility;
new or worsening seizures;
weak or shallow breathing;
feeling like you might pass out;
muscle twitching, tremor;
loss of bladder control; or
urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious diazepam side effects may include:
drowsiness, tired feeling;
dizziness, spinning sensation;
feeling restless or irritable;
drooling or dry mouth, slurred speech;
blurred vision, double vision;
mild skin rash, itching; or
loss of interest in sex.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.