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Mode of diazepam action:
They act on the central nervous system and brain. Diazepam increases the activity of a certain chemical in the central nervous system called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
A small amount of GABA makes your body in an excited state which leads to anxiety, muscle spasms, or seizures (convulsions).
This drug increases the amount of GABA in your body and this will reduce your anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures.
Uses of diazepam:
Diazepam is used to treat several conditions including:
- Treatment of anxiety:
Anxiety is an emotional state including some signs as sweating, fast heartbeat, insomnia (sleeping disorder), and other mental health problems.
- Treatment of muscle spasms and cerebral palsy:
A cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that cause muscle weakness and movement problems.
- Treatment of epilepsy:
Diazepam is used with other medicines to treat epilepsy as it is considered an anticonvulsant drug.
- Treatment of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:
Drinking alcohol can cause some of these symptoms:
- Visual hallucinations.
- Insomnia (sleeping difficulty).
- Relaxing nervous dental patients.
The recommended dose for diazepam action:
2 mg tablet to be taken 3 times daily. This dose could be increased to 5 mg and 10 mg per day.
- Sleep problems (due to anxiety):
5 mg to 15 mg to be taken once daily at bedtime.
- Muscle spasms in adults (more than 18 years):
2 mg to 15 mg per day. This dose could be increased up to 20 mg 3 times per day.
- Muscle spasms in children:
The usual dose is 2 times daily with a 10 to 12 hours gap between each dose, this dose may vary depending on the age.
- Treatment of cerebral palsy:
5 mg to 60 mg daily in divided doses.
- Treatment of epilepsy:
2 mg to 60 mg per day as divided doses.
- To control alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
5 mg to 20 mg to be repeated every 2 or 4 hours if needed.
- Before operations:
5 mg to 20 mg.
- for cerebral spasticity:
5 mg to 40 mg in divided doses.
- Before operation:
2 mg to 10 mg is the usual recommended dose.
You should speak with your doctor if you decided to take diazepam if you:
- Have experienced any allergic reaction to diazepam or any other drug in the past.
- Have hepatic or renal dysfunction.
- Have myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness and rapid fatigue of the muscles).
- Have sleep apnea (a sleep disorder where breathing stops and starts during sleep).
- Have arteriosclerosis (thickness and hardening of the walls of arteries leading to a reduced flow of blood throughout you’re your body causing heart attacks and strokes).
- Breathing problems.
- Have suicidal thoughts or depression.
- Have mental or behavioral disorders.
- Have alcohol or drug abuse or addiction.
- A history of seizures.
- Have low levels of albumin (a protein) in your blood.
- Pregnant, planning to be pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- 65 years or more.
- Going to have a general anesthetic due to an operation or surgery.
Side effects of diazepam action:
Like all drugs, diazepam can cause some side effects.
The severity of the side effects varies from one patient to another. Some patients have no side effects at all, others experience minor ones.
Common side effects:
- Feeling sleepy or drowsy.
- Co-ordination problems.
More serious side effects:
- Shallow breathing.
- Amnesia (a form of memory loss).
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real).
- Delusions (thinking of things that are not real).
- Mood changes such as feeling irritable or aggressive or overexcited.
Some medicines may interact with diazepam action especially:
- Sodium Oxybate (used to prevent the sudden onset of sleep).
- Antidepressants (as fluoxetine).
- Antipsychotics (as clozapine).
- Antihistamines (to treat allergy).
- General anesthetics.
- Sedatives (drugs used to give calming effects).
- Hypnotics (sleeping pills).
- Some antibiotics as erythromycin.
- Muscle relaxants.
- Strong pain killers (opioids) such as morphine.
- Antiepileptic medicines such as phenobarbital.
- Antihypertensive drugs (drugs used to lower high blood pressure).
- Diuretics (water tablets).
- Antacids (medicines that reduce stomach acid), these medicines can decrease the absorption of diazepam in your body.
- Oral contraceptives slow down diazepam removal from your body and increase its effect.
Food interaction with diazepam action:
- Drinking alcohol while taking diazepam will increase the sedative effect of diazepam leaving you very sleepy.
- Grapefruit juice may cause an increase in the amount of diazepam in your blood; this will increase the sedative effects of diazepam causing serious side effects especially in elderly patients such as accidental falls and injury.
- Drinks containing caffeine can decrease the effects of diazepam.
Diazepam action is very effective in treating several disorders. If you think you suffer from one of these conditions, talk with your doctor about diazepam.