What is Diazepam?
Diazepam is the prescription medication used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. It is also used to treat ailments like muscle spasms. Diazepam is the generic name for Valium and is a part of a class of medications known as a benzodiazepine that works to enhance the effect of a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that reduces anxiety symptoms.
Diazepam is usually prescribed with other medications. It is suggested that you inform your doctor about the medications you are using so they can prescribe the correct dosage for you.
How does Diazepam function?
Diazepam is a benzodiazepine that functions to increase the activity of Gamma-aminobutyric Acid. GABA is a special chemical or a neurotransmitter that acts throughout the central nervous system comprising the brain and spinal cord. Low levels of GABA are associated with stress, anxiety, and epilepsy. Diazepam increases GABA levels and produces a calming and relaxing effect in the body while decreasing the abnormal overactivity in the brain.
What are the possible side effects of Diazepam?
The common side effects are-
- Increase Saliva production
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness in the muscles
The common side effects of Tramadol should decrease with time. If they persist or get worse, you are advised to inform your doctor.
The severe side effects include-
- Worsening seizures
- Depression and confusion
- Memory loss
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Change in sex drive and ability
The severe side effects are rarely noticed in patients, and it is advised that you inform your doctor and look for medical assistance.
A severe allergic reaction to Diazepam is rare. If you notice side effects like rashes, itching or swelling of the tongue, throat, and face, severe dizziness, and difficulty breathing, you should inform your doctor and call for immediate medical assistance. In the case of an older adult, you may be more sensitive to the side effects of Diazepam. It is advised that you monitor your dosage intake and side effects regularly.
How long does Diazepam stay in your system?
Diazepam has a long life and can stay in your body for a long time even after you discontinue. The half-life of Diazepam ranges between 30 to 56 hours. The half-life of a drug or a substance is the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to leave the system. Ideally, it takes a drug 5 to 6 half-lives to entirely leave the body.
Some tests can still detect Diazepam and its metabolites in your system after your last dose-
Saliva – Saliva test can detect Diazepam for 7 to 9 days after the last dose
Urine – The most common drug detection test can find Diazepam for several weeks after the previous dose.
Hair – Hair follicle tests can detect Diazepam for at least 90 days after your last dose.
Precautions to be taken while using Diazepam,
Diazepam can be addictive and habit-forming. It is advised that you use your medication in moderation to avoid addiction and overdose. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is suggested that you only use Diazepam if needed, as it can have harmful side effects on the baby. Diazepam can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and it is advised that you avoid having alcohol, cannabis products, and other CNS depressants as they can aggravate your side effects.
If you have been having Diazepam for a long time, you may develop dependence or tolerance to it, and it is advised that you inform your doctor instead of increasing your dose on your own.
How should you have Diazepam?
The dosage of Diazepam prescribed to you will be based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. It is available in 2mg, 5mg, and 10mg. The dosage usually prescribed for anxiety for adults is 2mg to 10mg to be had 2 to 4 times a day. The dosage for alcohol withdrawal is 10mg to be had 3 to 4 times a day for the first 24 hours, which can be decreased to 5mg as needed.
The dosage for muscle spasms is 2mg to 10mg to be had 3 to 4 times a day. In the case of seizures, the recommended dosage for adults is 2 to 10mg to be had 3 to 4 times a day. If you use Diazepam for a prolonged time and in high doses, you should taper your dosage before you discontinue to avoid withdrawal symptoms.