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Diazepam

Last updated on 21/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Diazepam

CHINESE NAME: 地西泮

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Valium, Valpam, Stesolid

DRUG CLASS: Benzodiazepine

USED FOR: Seizures, manage anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasm

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Alprazolam, Bromazepam, Chlordiazepoxide, Clobazam, Lorazepam, Clonazepam, Midazolam, Temazepam, Nitrazepam, Pinazepam, Triazolam

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 1mg, 2mg, 5mg, 10mg (tablets)
– 5mg/ml, 0.5% (injections)
– 5mg/2.5ml, 10mg/2.5ml (rectal solution)

What is Diazepam for?

Diazepam (Valium) belongs to a group of medications called benzodiazepines, which have various uses. Diazepam is often prescribed to treat and prevent seizures, to manage anxiety, and to treat alcohol withdrawal. Your doctor may have also prescribed Diazepam for one of the following reasons:

– Muscle spasms
– Insomnia associated with anxiety
– Panic attacks
– Anxiety and agitation
– Premedication prior to medical and dental procedures to relieve anxiety and provide light anesthesia

How to use it?

Diazepam (e.g. Valium) is most often taken by mouth as a tablet. It can also be given as an injection or given rectally.

For muscle spasms

Oral
Adult
2–15 mg daily in divided doses, then increase if necessary (in spastic conditions) to 60 mg daily; Adjust the dose according to response.

For muscle spasm in cerebral spasticity or in postoperative skeletal muscle spasm

Oral
Child 1–11 months
Initially 250 micrograms/kg twice daily.

Child 1–4 years
Initially 2.5 mg twice daily.

Child 5–11 years
Initially 5 mg twice daily.

Child 12–17 years
Initially 10 mg twice daily; maximum 40 mg per day.

For anxiety

Oral
Adult
2 mg 3 times a day, then increase if necessary to 15–30 mg daily in divided doses

Elderly
1 mg 3 times a day, then increase if necessary to 7.5–15 mg daily in divided doses.

For insomnia associated with anxiety

Oral
Adult
5–15 mg daily at bedtime.

For acute anxiety and agitation

Rectal
Adult
500 micrograms/kg, then 500 micrograms/kg after 12 hours as required.

Elderly
250 micrograms/kg, then 250 micrograms/kg after 12 hours as required.

For premedication / conscious sedation for procedures

Oral
Adult
5–10 mg 1–2 hours before procedure; For debilitated patients, use elderly dose.

Elderly
2.5–5 mg 1–2 hours before procedure.

Intravenous injection
Adult
100–200 micrograms/kg immediately before procedure, to be administered into a large vein at a maximum rate of 5 mg/minute.

For sedation in dental procedures carried out in hospital

Oral
Adult
Up to 20 mg 1–2 hours before procedure.

What are the side effects of Diazepam?

Common side effects of Diazepam include decreased alertness, dizziness and drowsiness, nausea, and sleep disorders. Gait and coordination problems (ataxia) and confusion is more commonly seen in elderly; whereas respiratory depression may occur with high doses of Diazepam, when combined with opioid medications, and when used intravenously.

Who should not take Diazepam?

– Severe respiratory insufficiency, especially if you are using opioids, since there will be an increased risk of death due to respiratory depression caused by diazepam
– Anyone with a history of substance abuse since there is a risk of abuse with benzodiazepines

Pharmacist Tips:

Patients should avoid abrupt discontinuation of drug to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Where to buy Diazepam in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Diazepam is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Diazepam in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.