Diazepam helps relieve anxiety or agitation and muscle spasms caused by tetanus. It is also used to control epilepsy (fits or seizures), as premedication before surgery and other minor medical procedures.
Use Diazepam exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Diazepam rectal solution will be administered by your doctor, nurse or caregiver.
How to administer:
- Lie on one side (for children, turn them on their front).
- Raise one leg up to your chest. If you lie on your right side, raise your left leg. If you lie on your left side, raise your right leg.
- Remove the cap on the nozzle.
- Gently insert the nozzle completely into the rectum, pointing it downwards. (In children, do not insert the nozzle completely. Insert it halfway).
- Press the tube firmly and gently to release the medicine into the rectum.
- Keep the tube completely pressed until you have taken the nozzle out of the rectum.
- Press the buttocks together for a few minutes to prevent the medicine from leaking out.
Remain in the lying down position for a few minutes after Diazepam rectal solution has been administered. A small amount of solution will be left in the tube. This is normal.
Do not use Diazepam for a longer period of time than instructed by your doctor. See your doctor if this medicine does not seem to help you.
If you are using Diazepam over a certain period of time, do not stop using this medicine suddenly as this may worsen your condition. Your doctor may want to reduce the dose of Diazepam gradually before stopping it completely. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe liver disease
- severe lung disease
- long-term mood disorder or mental illness
- myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder)
- hyperkinesis (excessive muscle disorder)
- porphyria (suffer from an inherited iron disorder)
- sleep apnoea (a sleep disorder wherein the person's breathing is interrupted during sleep)
- glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
as Diazepam may not be suitable for you.
Do not give this medicine to infant below 6 months unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of drug abuse or alcoholism
- long-term lung disease
- mild to moderate liver disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Practise good sleeping habits to reduce reliance on medicines. These are some good sleeping habits which you should follow:
- Try to relax before bedtime. Do not engage in strenuous activities.
- Try to go to bed at about the same time every night.
- Have a light dinner. A heavy dinner may disturb your sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening. Caffeine-containing food and drinks include coffee, tea, certain soft drinks and even chocolate.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and airy.
- Avoid taking naps especially in the late afternoon.
Diazepam may cause drowsiness, loss of muscle control, blurred vision or double vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, stomach discomfort, slurred speech, increased salivation, difficulty urinating, involuntary muscle contraction or twitching; difficulty remembering, confusion, changes in sexual drive, difficulty in controlling movements such as unsteadiness in walking.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs and symptoms of paradoxical reactions such as restlessness, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, rages, nightmares, delusion
- withdrawal symptoms such as repeated insomnia, anxiety, panic, palpitations, sweating, paranoia, fits or seizures, delirium
- unusual change in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- desire or physical need to use Diazepam to function normally
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines to treat depression e.g. fluvoxamine
- antibiotics e.g. rifampicin, erythromycin
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. clozapine
- stomach medicines e.g. omeprazole, cimetidine
- medicines for cold or allergy e.g. hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine
- theophylline (asthma medicine)
- other medicines such as sodium oxybate, lofexidine, nabilone, disulfiram
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Diazepam.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol will worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Diazepam.
Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and certain soft drinks.
Avoid excessive consumption (more than 1 litre a day) of grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
Avoid St John’s wort.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.