What is this medicine?
DIAZEPAM (dye AZ e pam) is a benzodiazepine. It is used to treat anxiety and nervousness. It also can help treat alcohol withdrawal, relax muscles, and treat certain types of seizures.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Valium
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions
- an alcohol or drug abuse problem
- bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis or other mental health condition
- kidney or liver disease
- lung or breathing disease
- myasthenia gravis
- Parkinson's disease
- seizures or a history of seizures
- suicidal thoughts
- an unusual or allergic reaction to diazepam, other benzodiazepines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If this medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. If you have been taking this medicine regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get severe side effects. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice. Even after you stop taking this medicine it can still affect your body for several days.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- narcotic medicines for cough
- sodium oxybate
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
- certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, rifampin
- certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
- certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heartbeat
- certain medicines for depression, like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline, tranylcypromine
- certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, itraconazole, clotrimazole
- certain medicines for psychotic disturbances
- certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, valproate
- general anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- medicines that relax muscles for surgery
- narcotic medicines for pain
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice. You may develop a severe reaction. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy and fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
If you are taking another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems
- loss of balance or coordination
- signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
- suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- nausea, vomiting
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.
This medicine may cause accidental overdose and death if taken by other adults, children, or pets. Mix any unused medicine with a substance like cat litter or coffee grounds. Then throw the medicine away in a sealed container like a sealed bag or a coffee can with a lid. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.