Diazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. This group of medicines act on the central nervous system producing muscle relaxation and sedation.
Diazepam is used to treat anxiety and other mental health issues that may cause distress or be severe and disabling. It may also be used in association with other treatments for insomnia. Diazepam is also prescribed to treat fits, seizures and muscle spasms. It can also be given to patients to help them relax before an operation, medical or dental treatment.
Hospitals may use it as a symptomatic treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal. This reduces symptoms such as difficulty sleeping and excessive sweating. Diazepam is only available when prescribed by a doctor and may be given to both adults and children in controlled doses.
Key features of diazepam include:
- It is for short term use only as it can cause addiction
- You may feel drowsy after taking this drug – if this happens do not drive, use tools or machines
- You must not consume alcohol while taking this medicine as it can be extremely dangerous
If an individual who has been taking diazepam stops suddenly, they may experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms include sweating, vomiting, anxiety, cramps and shaking. A doctor may lower your dose slowly to prevent withdrawal symptoms.