What is diazepam?
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. Diazepam is sometimes used with other medications to treat seizures.
Diazepam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about diazepam?
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 medication 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.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking diazepam?
Diazepam may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share diazepam with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to diazepam or similar drugs (Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Xanax, and others), or if you have:
myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder);
severe liver disease;
a severe breathing problem; or
sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep).
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.
To make sure you can safely take diazepam, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
kidney or liver disease;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
a history of mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use diazepam if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Diazepam may cause low blood pressure, breathing problems, or addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy.
Diazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The sedative effects of diazepam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking diazepam.