Diazepam

Diazepam ( /daɪˈæzɨpæm/), first marketed as Valium ( /ˈvæliəm/) by Hoffmann-La Roche, is a benzodiazepine drug. Diazepam is also marketed in Australia as Antenex. It is commonly used for treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures including status epilepticus, muscle spasms (such as in cases of tetanus), restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal and Ménière's disease. It may also be used before certain medical procedures (such as endoscopies) to reduce tension and anxiety, and in some surgical procedures to induce amnesia. It possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and amnestic properties. The pharmacological action of diazepam enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA by binding to the benzodiazepine site on the GABAA receptor (via the constituent chlorine atom) leading to central nervous system depression.

Adverse effects of diazepam include anterograde amnesia (especially at higher doses) and sedation, as well as paradoxical effects such as excitement, rage or worsening of seizures in epileptics. Benzodiazepines also can cause or worsen depression. Long-term effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome upon dose reduction; additionally, after cessation of benzodiazepines, cognitive deficits may persist for at least six months and may not fully return to normal; however, it was suggested that longer than six months may be needed for recovery from some deficits. Diazepam also has physical dependence potential and can cause serious problems of physical dependence with long term use. Compared to other benzodiazepines, though, physical withdrawal from diazepam following long term use is usually far more mild due to its long elimination half-life. Nevertheless, urgent action by national governments to improve prescribing practices has been recommended. Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence, with its low potency, long duration of action and the availability of low-dose tablets making it ideal for gradual dose reduction and the circumvention of withdrawal symptoms.

Advantages of diazepam are a rapid onset of action and high efficacy rates, which is important for managing acute seizures, anxiety attacks and panic attacks; benzodiazepines also have a relatively low toxicity in overdose. Diazepam is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic health care system. Diazepam was first synthesized by Leo Sternbach, is used to treat a wide range of conditions, and has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world since its launch in 1963.

Read more about DiazepamMedical Uses, Contraindications, Adverse Effects, Pharmacology, History, Veterinary Uses

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Long-term Effects Of Benzodiazepines - Symptoms - Immune System
... Diazepam and clonazepam have been found to have long-lasting, but not permanent, immunotoxic effects in the fetus of pregnant rats ... However, single very high doses of diazepam have been found to cause lifelong immunosuppression in neonatal rats ... No studies have been done to assess the immunotoxic effects of diazepam in humans however, high prescribed doses of diazepam, in humans, has been found to be a major risk of pneumonia, based on a study ...
Avizafone
... Avizafone (Pro-Diazepam) is a water-soluble prodrug of diazepam ... by enzymes in the blood to form the active drug diazepam ...
Loprazolam - Side Effects
... the same as for other benzodiazepines such as diazepam ... The only main difference in side effects of loprazolam and diazepam is it is less prone to day time sedation as the half-life of loprazolam is considered to be intermediate whereas diazepam has a very long half-l ...
Diazepam - Veterinary Uses
... Diazepam is used as a short-term sedative and anxiolytic for cats and dogs ... It is also used for short-term treatment of seizures in dogs and short-term and long-term treatment of seizures in cats ...
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... to human test subjects demonstrated similar psychological test results to those produced by diazepam ... dosing with premazepam produces similar sedative effects as compared with diazepam, although psychomotor impairments are greater with premazepam than with ... causes less sedation and less psychomotor impairment than diazepam ...