Diazepam belongs to the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. This drug affects the chemical in the brain which may become unbalanced that would lead to anxiety. It is used in treating anxiety disorders, muscle spasms or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It is sometimes used together with other medications in treating seizures. If you are allergic to Diazepam or other medicine with the same component avoid using it. Also if you have the following condition you are not allowed to use it:
- Severe liver disease
- Severe breathing problem
- Sleep apnea
- Narrow-angle glaucoma
- Myasthenia gravis
Before taking the drug inform your physician if you have asthma or other problems with breathing, history of alcohol or drug addiction, kidney or liver disease, glaucoma, seizures, mental illness, suicidal thoughts or depression. Make sure that you will not drink alcohol while under medication. The effects of alcohol will be increased. Follow the doctor’s instruction carefully. An overdose of this drug could be fatal. This drug could be addictive and must be utilized only by the individual for whom it was given. Make sure that it is placed in a protected area.
What is Diazepam used for?
Diazepam can be prescribed in treating anxiety, seizures, alcohol withdrawal or muscle spasms. If used in managing seizures, this drug can be helpful in preventing seizure which is very difficult to control. There are instances that this drug can be used in treating something besides the above mentioned conditions. Other conditions which can be treated using Diazepam includes agitation, benzodiazepine withdrawal and insomnia. Diazepam can be taken without or with food. It is excreted primarily by the kidney and metabolized by the liver. In case of abnormal kidney function the dosage of Diazepam can be lowered. The normal oral Diazepam dose is 2-10mg and can be given two to four times a day. The normal rectal dose is 0.2 to 0.5 mg/kg and it depends on how old the patient is. Medications or alcohol which can cause sedation may increase the sedative effects of Diazepam. Those who are taking the said medication should avoid this kind of combinations.
Common Diazepam side effects
Some of the common side effects of Diazepam are fatigue and drowsiness. Because of the tiredness and sleepiness Diazepam may cause, you should not operate or drive dangerous machinery until you are aware how this medicine will affect you. Due to this you should not take alcohol while under Diazepam since it increases the effects of the drug and will make you susceptible to fatigue and drowsiness. In case you are taking Diazepam and experience severe drowsiness which affects your everyday lifestyle, call your health care physician at once. There are some instances that you will experience constipation while taking Diazepam. Include high fiber in your diet with vegetables and fruits, as well as drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day are a helpful remedy for constipation. This side effect will lessen once your body gets used in this drug. Unsteady walk and shakiness are also some of the common side effects of the drug.
Diazepam side effects on children
Some of the side effects that children might encounter includes feeling lightheaded, change in thinking clearly, having blurred eyesight or sleepy. Make sure that your child will not engage in any activities that requires his alertness or needs to have a clear eyesight. However, there are some who might not experience these side effects at all. In cases that your child may experience dry mouth side effects, proper mouth care is very helpful. Older children may suck sugar free hard candy. In these cases it is best to see your dentist more often. Sudden excitement may happen rarely. Bear in mind that your doctor prescribed this drug because he thinks that the benefit is greater than the side effects. There are lots of people using this medication may not experience serious side effects. Inform your doctor right away if you have seen the following side effects to your children:
- Mood changes
- Slurred speech
- Trouble walking
- Sleep disturbances
- Increased / decreased interest in sex
- Trouble urinating
Diazepam side effects on men
The primary side effects of Diazepam on men are either nonthreatening and rare, however, serious effects need medical attention at once. Not all men may experience these adverse effects. The nonthreatening side effects of Diazepam could be sometimes beneficial. Feeling tired or drowsiness side effects could be desirable if it is employed to induce sleep or to lessen anxiety. Some effects might not be agreeable, and some of them might include: slight memory impairment, hand eye coordination needed to drive a vehicle, impairment of motor skills, disinterest in sex, drunkenness, changes in speech pronunciation or speed, rash, headaches, stomach upset changes in bowel movements, headaches, changes to visual acuity which affect the vision. These effects are not actually dangerous, however a big number of adverse effects should be mentioned to the doctor, since there could be other medication that could be more suitable.
Diazepam Side Effects on Women
Women taking Diazepam may experience the following side effects drowsiness, impaired coordination, dizziness, balance problems, reduction of REM sleep, nausea, depression, irregular heartbeat, difficulty learning and anterograde amnesia. There are some not common counterintuitive side effects like anxiety, insomnia, irritability and other cases increased possibility or violence and rage. There are lots of drugs that can increase and enhance the effects of Diazepam if taken together – some of which include anti-depressants, narcotics and barbiturates. It likewise increases the effect of alcohol in the CNS or central nervous system, increasing the depressive effects and lowering blood pressure. Oral contraceptives may also prevent the removal of Diazepam from the body. Using tobacco can eliminate Diazepam and lowers its effectiveness. This drug also faces the possibility for substance abuse, and might result to the withdrawal symptoms the same with barbiturate or alcohol dependence. Therefore, it is best that you use Diazepam in the short term remedy.
Diazepam Side Effects on Pregnant Women
Diazepam must be avoided if pregnant, especially in the 3rd trimester where danger may exist for the baby to develop withdrawal symptoms from Diazepam like hypotonia and impaired responses. Some medicines must not be taken during breastfeeding or pregnancy. But, other drugs may be used while pregnant as long as it provides more benefits than harm to the unborn baby. Make sure that you inform your physician if you are anticipating or intending to become pregnant, before utilizing any medicine. This could be dangerous in the developing baby and it must be avoided during pregnancy not unless considered important by your physician. This is specifically essential during the 1st and 3rd semesters of pregnancy and before or during labor. Continuous use of this drug during pregnancy must be avoided, as the infant could become dependent on the drug and then suffer withdrawal symptoms once the baby is out. If in case this drug is used in late pregnancy it might cause in floppiness, feeding or breathing difficulties in the baby after birth or low body temperature.
Diazepam Side Effects on Elderly
The elderly may experience side effects such as drowsiness, ataxia and fatigue. Some of the less experience side effects were depression, headache, changes in libido, nausea, constipation, diplopia, hypotension, jaundice, slurred speech, urinary retention, blurred vision, vertigo, dysarthria, incontinence, skin rash and confusion. Inconsistent reactions like anxiety, rage, acute hyperexcited states, increased muscle spasticity, stimulation, hallucinations, insomnia, and stimulation the medication should be discontinued. Minimal improvements in EEG patterns, normally low-voltage fast movement, have been noticed in patients under Diazepam medication and are of no known importance. Because of rare reports of jaundice and neutropenia, liver function and recurrent blood counts tests are recommended for long-term treatment.