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Terms Of Use

DIAZEPAM (DIAZEPAM RECTUBES)

Brand Name(s) : Rimapam, Tensium, Dialar, Diazemuls, Diazepam Rectubes, Stesolid
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

DIAZEPAM WARNINGS

Diazepam should be used with caution in: the elderly, women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding, those who have liver or kidney problems, any sort of lung disorder, muscle weakness (including myasthenia gravis, a disease involving muscle weakness), previous or current problems with alcoholism or drug abuse, and types of mental diseases called personality disorders.

It should not be used in: patients with severe respiratory problems, patients with unstable myasthenia gravis (a disease involving muscle weakness), sleep apnoea syndrome (pauses in breathing during sleep), severe liver problems, long-term psychosis (typically, a mental disorder involving hallucinations and delusions), phobias (fear of a particular object or situation), porphyria (an inherited condition that causes skin blisters, stomach pain and brain or nervous system disorders), patients when given alone (as monotherapy) for the treatment of depression or depression with anxiety.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Store below 25°C

DIAZEPAM USES

Diazepam is used to treat a number of problems.

It is a member of a class of drugs called benzodiazepine anxiolytics.

In general, this drug is used in the short term to treat severe anxiety, types of muscle spasms (e.g. owing to tetanus or poisoning), epilepsy, helping patients with alcohol withdrawal symptoms or to relax patients before an operation or other procedure.

Benefits of being on this drug are largely dependent on the use for which it is given, but in general it relaxes patients – mentally as well as physically – and prevents anxiety.

Listed below are the typical uses of diazepam:

  • Short-term relief of anxiety or insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • Symptomatic treatment of alcohol withdrawal
  • Treatment of epilepsy (when given with other drugs)
  • Treatment of muscle spasms
  • Treatment of febrile (feverish) convulsions
  • To relax patients before minor operations or procedures, or before a general anaesthetic/surgical procedure.

However on occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on this list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • This medication is available as a tablet, which should be taken orally with a glass of water. It is also available as a solution for intravenous or intramuscular injection, or as a suppository which should be used rectally.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it for the duration of prescription - unless specifically told not to by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before you notice any benefits of this drug.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it may make you very sleepy when given with diazepam. Also avoid driving or operating machinery as diazepam may affect the way your muscles work or make you feel sleepy or forgetful. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

DIAZEPAM SIDE EFFECTS

Commonly:

  • Sleepiness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Confusion (particularly in elderly patients).

Less commonly:

  • Headache
  • Spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Stomach upsets
  • Visual disturbances
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Difficulty in passing water (urine).

Very rarely:

  • Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Blood disorders.
  • If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: if you suddenly stop your diazepam treatment you may experience depression, nervousness, irritability, excessive sweating, diarrhoea, restlessness or changes in sleep patterns.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website

DIAZEPAM PRECAUTIONS

Before taking diazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other blood-thinning drugs; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe respiratory problems, unstable myasthenia gravis (a disease involving muscle weakness), sleep apnoea syndrome (pauses in breathing during sleep), severe liver problems, long-term psychosis (typically, a mental disorder involving hallucinations and delusions), porphyria (an inherited condition that causes skin blisters, or stomach pain and brain or nervous system disorders).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: history of drinking alcohol to excess, any history of drug abuse, any record of lung or breathing disorders, or kidney problems, or have suffered from any mental disorders including depression, phobias (fear of a particular object or situation) or a personality disorder.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Yes. Avoid drinking alcohol whilst taking diazepam.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

The safety of diazepam has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Diazepam is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

DIAZEPAM INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • Alcohol
  • Antivirals (ritonavir)
  • Other anxiolytics (sodium oxybate)

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting diazepam.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • Antivirals (amprenavir)
  • Antidepressants (e.g fluvoxamine)
  • Anti-psychotics (e.g. olanzapine)
  • Anti-epileptics (e.g. phenytoin or valproate)
  • Antibiotics (e.g. rifampicin or isoniazid)
  • Stomach ulcer healing drugs (e.g. cimetidine, esomeprazole or omeprazole)
  • Other: strong pain-killers such as opioids

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using diazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

DIAZEPAM OVERDOSE

Symptoms of diazepam overdosage include: sleepiness, muscle weakness, deep sleep or excited states. In more severe cases, symptoms may include lack of co-ordination, low blood pressure, very slow or shallow breathing (respiratory depression), and rarely, coma and death. When combined with other sorts of substances called CNS depressants (a group which includes alcohol), the effects of an overdose are likely to be severe and may prove fatal.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of diazepam or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111 or NHS Direct. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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