Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Diazepam Injection (brand name: Valium) is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and muscle spasms. The injection form of diazepam is used when the medication cannot be taken by mouth. Diazepam injection is also used in patients with alcohol withdrawal to prevent seizures and treat other symptoms (e.g., agitation, anxiety, hallucinations), for short-term treatment of serious seizures that do not stop (status epilepticus), or before surgeries or procedures to cause drowsiness, decrease anxiety, and cause forgetfulness about the procedure or surgery. Diazepam injection is available in generic form. Common side effects of diazepam injection include:
- poor coordination,
- sleep disturbances,
- low blood pressure,
- skin rash, or
- pain/burning/redness/blood clot at the injection site.
Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of diazepam injection including:
- fast or irregular heartbeat,
- mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, strange thoughts),
- muscle weakness,
- vision changes (e.g., blurred/double vision),
- slow or shallow breathing,
- easy bleeding or bruising,
- chest pain,
- loss of consciousness,
- signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat),
- slurred speech,
- severe stomach or abdominal pain,
- unusual tiredness,
- dark urine,
- difficulty walking, or
- yellowing eyes or skin.
Dosage of Diazepam Injection depends on the condition being treated and its severity. The usual recommended dose in older children and adults ranges from 2 mg to 20 mg I.M. or I.V. Diazepam Injection may interact with fluvoxamine, kava, phenytoin, cimetidine, ketoconazole, omeprazole, antihistamines, anti-seizure drugs, medicine for sleep or anxiety, muscle relaxants, narcotics, or psychiatric medicines. This medication contains a small amount of alcohol. Tell your doctor if you are taking drugs such as disulfiram or metronidazole that can adversely interact with alcohol. Diazepam Injection is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. This drug may pass into breast milk and have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breastfeeding while using this medication is not recommended. Diazepam Injection may cause withdrawal symptoms (shakiness, trouble sleeping, muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, seizures, mental/mood changes such as anxiety/agitation) if you suddenly stop using this medication.
Our Diazepam Injection (brand name: Valium) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, strange thoughts), muscle weakness, pain/swelling/signs of infection at the injection site, vision changes (e.g., blurred/double vision), slow/shallow breathing, easy bleeding/bruising, chest pain, loss of consciousness, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), slurred speech, severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual tiredness, dark urine, difficulty walking, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Diazepam Injection (Diazepam Tablets)
Side effects most commonly reported were drowsiness, fatigue, muscle weakness, and ataxia. The following have also been reported:
Gastrointestinal System: constipation, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances
Special Senses : blurred vision, diplopia, dizziness
Cardiovascular System: hypotension
Psychiatric and Paradoxical Reactions : stimulation, restlessness, acute hyperexcited states, anxiety, agitation, aggressiveness, irritability, rage, hallucinations, psychoses, delusions, increased muscle spasticity, insomnia, sleep disturbances, and nightmares. Inappropriate behavior and other adverse behavioral effects have been reported when using benzodiazepines. Should these occur, use of the drug should be discontinued. They are more likely to occur in children and in the elderly.
Skin and Appendages : skin reactions
Laboratories : elevated transaminases and alkaline phosphatase
Other: changes in salivation, including dry mouth, hypersalivation
Antegrade amnesia may occur using therapeutic dosages, the risk increasing at higher dosages. Amnestic effects may be associated with inappropriate behavior.
Minor changes in EEG patterns, usually low-voltage fast activity, have been observed in patients during and after diazepam therapy and are of no known significance.
Injury, Poisoning, And Procedural Complications
There have been reports of falls and fractures in benzodiazepine users. The risk is increased in those taking concomitant sedatives (including alcohol) and in the elderly.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Diazepam is subject to Schedule IV control under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Abuse and dependence of benzodiazepines have been reported. Addiction-prone individuals (such as drug addicts or alcoholics) should be under careful surveillance when receiving diazepam or other psychotropic agents because of the predisposition of such patients to habituation and dependence. Once physical dependence to benzodiazepines has developed, termination of treatment will be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms. The risk is more pronounced in patients on long-term therapy.
Withdrawal symptoms, similar in character to those noted with barbiturates and alcohol have occurred following abrupt discontinuance of diazepam. These withdrawal symptoms may consist of tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, headache, muscle pain, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion and irritability. In severe cases, the following symptoms may occur: derealization, depersonalization, hyperacusis, numbness and tingling of the extremities, hypersensitivity to light, noise and physical contact, hallucinations or epileptic seizures. The more severe withdrawal symptoms have usually been limited to those patients who had received excessive doses over an extended period of time. Generally milder withdrawal symptoms (e.g., dysphoria and insomnia) have been reported following abrupt discontinuance of benzodiazepines taken continuously at therapeutic levels for several months. Consequently, after extended therapy, abrupt discontinuation should generally be avoided and a gradual dosage tapering schedule followed.
Chronic use (even at therapeutic doses) may lead to the development of physical dependence: discontinuation of the therapy may result in withdrawal or rebound phenomena.
A transient syndrome whereby the symptoms that led to treatment with diazepam recur in an enhanced form. This may occur upon discontinuation of treatment. It may be accompanied by other reactions including mood changes, anxiety, and restlessness.
Since the risk of withdrawal phenomena and rebound phenomena is greater after abrupt discontinuation of treatment, it is recommended that the dosage be decreased gradually.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Diazepam Injection (Diazepam Tablets)
© Diazepam Injection Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Diazepam Injection Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.