Diazepam

Diazepam

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Diazepam:

Diazepam is an anxiolytic that belongs to the benzodiazepine class. It is a fast acting medication that is used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. It works by enhancing the GABA (γ-Aminobutyric acid)  neurotransmitters in the brain. It is available by the brand names Valium, Diastat, and Valtoco. It comes in the form of tablets, sprays, and injections. 

What is diazepam used for?

Diazepam is used in the treatment of:

  • Panic disorders
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasm
  • Vertigo
  • Severe anxiety disorder
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine which is anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant and sedative. It is mainly used for the treatment of mild to moderate degrees of anxiety attacks.  It helps to reduce muscle spasms by decreasing the inflammation of muscles or joints. It can also be used as a sedative before surgeries. It can be used for seizures because of its anticonvulsant properties. It induces sleep in patients who face trouble while sleeping. It can also be used for tetanus along with other medications. Because of its safety and long duration, it is considered a safe treatment for alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Sometimes, diazepam is also used for the prevention of febrile seizures in children. Moreover, it can also be used as an adjunctive treatment for tetraplegia and paraplegia caused by lesions of the spinal cord (stroke, multiple sclerosis, and injury). In some countries like the UK, diazepam is also prescribed for controlling tension and agitation in children who are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

How effective is Diazepam?

Diazepam is an effective treatment for the short term management of anxiety and panic attacks. Intravenous diazepam is considered a first line treatment for epilepsy as they have a long term effect. Its bioavailability is 64-97% by mouth. Its plasma protein binding capacity is 98-99%. It works by increasing GABA neurotransmitters (a chemical that sends nerve impulses throughout your brain) that will ultimately produce a calming effect. It absorbs rapidly in your bloodstream and starts working within one hour, reaching its peak absorption in 1 to 1.5 hours. The absorption rate by oral administration is higher than any other route of administration. It crosses the blood brain barrier rapidly. So, the patient will start to feel calming and relaxing effects within an hour or two. Its effects may last for more than 24 hours.

How should I take diazepam?

Diazepam comes in the form of tablets, nasal spray, solutions, and injections. It should always be taken on a doctor's prescription. The label given along with the medication should be read carefully.

  • It can be taken with or without food.
  • It can be taken 1 to 4 times a day.
  • Swallow the whole tablet.
  • Do not cut, crush or chew the tablets.
  • It should be taken at the same time daily.
  • Keep the medication away from the reach of children.
  • Store at room temperature.

What dose of diazepam should I take?

The dose of diazepam is different for different patients so it should be taken as directed by the doctor.

  • In case of anxiety, the dosage for adults is 2 mg to 10mg given 2 to 4 times a day.
  • For older adults, 2 to 2.5mg is given 1 to 2 times a day.
  • In case of alcohol withdrawal, the dosage for adults is 10mg, 3 to 4 times in 24 hours.
  • For older adults, 2 to 2.5mg is given 1 to 2 times a day.
  • In case of muscle spasm, dosage for adults is 2mg to 10 mg, 3 to 4 times a day.
  • For older adults, 2mg to 2.5mg is given 1 to 2 times a day.
  • For seizures, the dosage is 2 mg to 10mg, 2 to 4 times a day.
  • For older adults, 2mg to 2.5mg, 1 to 2 times a day.
  • In case of a missed dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • Do not double the dose.
  • Do not adjust the dose by yourself, always consult your doctor.

Why is diazepam considered a good treatment for anxiety, seizures, and insomnia?

Diazepam is a CNS depressant drug that is considered as a first line treatment for short term management of anxiety and panic disorders. It works rapidly by calming over activity of neurotransmitters (GABA) in your brain. It has a tranquilizing effect on the brain. Its effects are produced in the body in almost 30-60 minutes. Your body will feel relaxed instantly. It is a safe medication for the treatment of seizures. The people who take this medication for insomnia feel an improvement within one hour, and sleep immediately after taking this medication. Symptoms start improving after taking a single dose. 

What are the side effects of diazepam?

Like every other medicine, diazepam also has some side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness 
  • Blistering
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors
  • Agitation
  • Back, tarry stools
  • Ataxia (inability to control movements)
  • Dry mouth 
  •  Excessive saliva production
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

Some serious side effects include:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Depression
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing 
  • Fever
  • Seizures

In case of these symptoms, call the doctor immediately.

Alternative treatment options for anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia?

There are some other methods to treat anxiety disorders. They  include:

  • Patient education 
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Breathing techniques
  • Mindfulness
  • Exercise
  • Learning to be assertive
  • Building self-esteem
  • Exposure therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Behavior therapy
  • Support groups
  • Dietary adjustments
  • Medications

Cognitive therapy is considered first line treatment for anxiety and panic disorders. This helps by managing the way some people react to certain triggers. Using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and yoga can help in relieving stress. There are other therapies named the 3-3-3 rule and 5-5-5 are performed as well. Another therapy 54321 (Start with deep breathing. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds) is also performed. Exposure therapy includes accepting your fears in front of others. All these therapies help in improving motor coordination and calming the brain. Doing exercise can help in reducing anxiety by triggering chemicals in the brain that will stimulate positive emotions. Furthermore, eating a nutritious and balanced diet (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B) helps in decreasing anxiety symptoms. Besides these therapies, there are some medications which include:

  • Anxiolytics (buspirone)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants 
  • Benzodiazepines ( lorazepam, clonazepam) 
  • Antipsychotics (aripiprazole and quetiapine) 
  • Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (venlafaxine and duloxetine) 
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine, paroxetine, and escitalopram) 

Can I buy diazepam online?

Diazepam is a prescription medicine that is sold by doctor's prescription. But it is available on some websites too like ibuyalprazolam.com.

FAQ

When should I take diazepam?

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Diazepam should only be taken by doctor's consultation. If you are suffering from anxiety and panic disorders, diazepam will be prescribed to you. You should take this medication at the same time every day. It can be taken 1 to 4 times a day. It can be taken with or without food. Swallow the whole tablet. If you are taking this medication for insomnia, take it before bedtime.  

How long does it take diazepam to work?

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Diazepam is a CNS depressant that is used for the short term management of anxiety and panic disorders. It starts working immediately after swallowing. You will feel its effects in 30 to 60 minutes. Patients will feel improvement in 1 hour. In some patients, its effects can be delayed depending upon the patient's age, metabolism and weight. 

Can I take diazepam while pregnant?

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Diazepam is not recommended in pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. You can only take diazepam during pregnancy for short periods, taking it for long periods can cause harmful effects on the baby, making the baby drowsy. According to some research, its use in the first trimester can cause congenital abnormalities in neonates. So, most doctors do not prescribe this medicine during pregnancy.  

Can I drive after taking diazepam?

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No, you should not drive after taking diazepam because of its sedative effects. This medication can make you drowsy, dizzy, and sleepy. So driving while you are experiencing these effects is very risky. Patients should avoid driving for 5 to 7 hours after taking diazepam. 

How long can I take diazepam?

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Diazepam is a benzodiazepine that is used for the short term treatment of anxiety. It should not be taken for more than four weeks. Taking this medication longer than 4 weeks can cause adverse effects on health. 

Will the long term use of diazepam have adverse effects on my health?

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Yes, long term use of diazepam will have adverse effects on health. It is used for short term treatment for 2 to 4 weeks. Long term use of this medication can interfere with the CNS functioning. It can cause drowsiness, confusion, forgetfulness, dizziness, and emotional and physical dependence on the medication. So, long term use of this medication should be avoided.

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