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Introduction into Diazepam
Brand Name(s): Valium
Generic Name Diazepam
What are diazepam tablets?
DIAZEPAM (Valium®) is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to a group of medicines that slow down the central nervous system. Diazepam relieves anxiety and nervousness. It also can help patients cope with alcohol withdrawal, relax muscles, and treat certain types of seizures (convulsions). Federal law prohibits the transfer of diazepam to any person other than the patient for whom it was prescribed. Do not share this medicine with anyone else. Generic diazepam tablets are available.
What should my health care professional know before I take diazepam?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should I take this medicine?
Take diazepam tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. If diazepam upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Elderly patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction to this medicine and need smaller doses.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with diazepam?
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking diazepam?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while taking diazepam?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your body can become dependent on diazepam, ask your prescriber or health care professional if you still need to take it. However, if you have been taking diazepam regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get severe side effects. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Even after you stop taking diazepam it can still affect your body for several days.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how diazepam affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy and fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking diazepam.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)