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What is Diazepam?

28th October 2021

Benzodiazepines are depressants. These are a class of drugs which lowers brain activities, thus lowering the brain stimulation/arousal. Depressants are usually prescribed to treat issues such as insomnia, seizures and anxiety.

The medication diazepam is a type of benzodiazepine. Diazepam is used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and fits (seizures). It's also used in hospital to reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating or difficulty sleeping. Long term use is often not recommended, as this type of medication can become addictive. 

diazepam for sleep

Can I take diazepam?

Adults aged 18 and over can take diazepam. Children over 1 month old can also take it to treat muscle spasms, but this must be discussed with a medical professional.

Like all medications, situations can arise which make diazepam unsafe to take. You must check with your doctor before taking diazepam if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to diazepam or any other medication
  • have experienced liver or kidney problems
  • experience muscle weakness
  • have sleep apnoea
  • experience depressive thoughts
  • think of harming yourself or suicide
  • have been diagnosed with a personality disorder
  • have experienced problems with alcohol or drugs
  • have recently had a loss or bereavement
  • suffer from arteriosclerosis
  • have low levels of a protein called albumin in your blood
  • are currently trying to conceive
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • are aged over 65
  • are due to have general aesthetic for an operation or another medical procedure 

Does diazepam have any side effects?

Like all medications, diazepam does have side effects. However, most people do not experience any side effects at all whilst taking the medication. You are more likely to experience side effects if you take a higher dosage. 

Common side effects can happen in 1 out of 100 people. The side effects should alleviate once you have stopped taking the medication but if they do not, or if they are bothering you, it is best to speak to your GP. 

  • Sleepiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Issues with your co-ordination or controlling your movements
  • Unexplained tremors

The following side effects are slightly less common and if they occur, it is recommended that you seek advice from a medical professional straight away:

  • Shallow or slow breathing 
  • Your skin or the whites of your eyes turning yellow
  • Amnesia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

There are some very rare occasions where someone taking diazepam may experience unexplained mood changes. These are more likely to happen in children and adults ages over 65 and can become very serious. If any of these symptoms happen to you, you must inform a medical professional:

  • Talking too much
  • Feeling overexcited
  • Feeling agitated
  • Feeling restless
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feelings of aggression

diazepam pain killer

How do I take diazepam?

For diazepam tablets, it is recommended that they are taken with water to ease ingestion. You can take them either with or without food, it has no effect on the medication, so it is simply down to your own schedule. Your dosage will be outlined by a doctor but for most people, they must take diazepam 1-3 times a day. The most common dosages based on the issue the medication is treating, are:

  • Anxiety - 2mg taken 3 times a day. This can be increased to 5mg to 10mg 3 times a day, if approved by your doctor.
  • Sleep problems (related to anxiety) - 5mg to 15mg taken once a day at bedtime.
  • Muscle spasms in adults - 2mg to 15mg a day. This can be given as 1mg twice a day and go up to 5mg 3 times a day. The dose can be increased up to 20mg 3 times a day if needed but all dosage changes must be approved by your doctor.
  • Muscle spasm in children (aged 1 month to 17 years) – the dosage varies depending on age. It's usually given twice a day, with 10 to 12 hours between each dose but this will be clarified by your child’s doctor.

Your dosage can be affected by your age, if you’re over 65 years old, or if you have kidney, liver or breathing problems.

What if I take too much?

The exact amount of diazepam that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person, so it’s hard to say what the crucial number is. If you do accidentally take too much diazepam, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Poor co-ordination
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sleepiness
  • A slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Muscle weakness
  • An unexplained feeling of overexcitement

Can I buy diazepam from EU Meds?

You can safely buy diazepam online at EU Meds. You will first need to have an online consultation with a pharmacist independent prescriber before you can buy diazepam. The online consultation will ensure that diazepam is the right medication for your medical condition.