IN PRAISE OF VALIUM

Medical uses

Diazepam tablets (2, 5, and 10 mg)

Diazepam is mainly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks and symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. It is also used as a premedication for inducing sedation, anxiolysis, or amnesia before certain medical procedures (e.g., endoscopy).[11][12] Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence with its long half-life allowing easier dose reduction. Benzodiazepines have a relatively low toxicity in overdose.[7]

Diazepam has a number of uses including:

Dosages should be determined on an individual basis, depending on the condition being treated, severity of symptoms, patient body weight, and any other conditions the person may have.[18]

Seizures

Intravenous diazepam or lorazepam are first-line treatments for status epilepticus.[7][20] However, intravenous lorazepam has advantages over intravenous diazepam, including a higher rate of terminating seizures and a more prolonged anticonvulsant effect. Diazepam gel was better than placebo gel in reducing the risk of non-cessation of seizures.[21] Diazepam is rarely used for the long-term treatment of epilepsy because tolerance to its anticonvulsant effects usually develops within six to 12 months of treatment, effectively rendering it useless for that purpose.[18][22]

The anticonvulsant effects of diazepam can help in the treatment of seizures due to a drug overdose or chemical toxicity as a result of exposure to sarin, VX, or soman (or other organophosphatepoisons), lindane, chloroquine, physostigmine, or pyrethroids.[18][23]

It is sometimes used intermittently for the prevention of febrile seizures that may occur in children under five years of age.[7] This use, however, is not typically recommended as the benefits are small and side effects are common.[24] Long-term use of diazepam for the management of epilepsy is not recommended; however, a subgroup of individuals with treatment-resistant epilepsy benefit from long-term benzodiazepines, and for such individuals, clorazepate has been recommended due to its slower onset of tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects.[7]

Other

Diazepam is used for the emergency treatment of eclampsia, when IV magnesium sulfate and blood-pressure control measures have failed.[25][26] Benzodiazepines do not have any pain-relieving properties themselves, and are generally recommended to avoid in individuals with pain.[27] However, benzodiazepines such as diazepam can be used for their muscle-relaxant properties to alleviate pain caused by muscle spasms and various dystonias, including blepharospasm.[28][29] Tolerance often develops to the muscle relaxant effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam.[30]Baclofen[31] or tizanidine is sometimes used as an alternative to diazepam.

Availability

Diazepam is marketed in over 500 brands throughout the world.[32] It is supplied in oral, injectable, inhalation, and rectal forms.[18][33][34]

The United States military employs a specialized diazepam preparation known as Convulsive Antidote, Nerve Agent (CANA), which contains diazepam. One CANA kit is typically issued to service members, along with three Mark I NAAK kits, when operating in circumstances where chemical weapons in the form of nerve agents are considered a potential hazard. Both of these kits deliver drugs using autoinjectors. They are intended for use in “buddy aid” or “self aid” administration of the drugs in the field prior to decontamination and delivery of the patient to definitive medical care.[35]

Involuntary medication and involuntary treatment

THE EFFECTS OF INVOLUNTARY MEDICATION ON INDIVIDUALS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA AND MANIC-DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS

SUMMARY: Patients with psychiatric disorders refuse medications for a variety of reasons, including experience with, or fear of, side effects. In other cases, the refusal is based on lack of awareness of illness or on delusional beliefs. Many such patients must ultimately be medicated involuntarily. Studies suggest that the long-term effects of involuntary medication on individuals with schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness (bipolar disorder) are more positive than is commonly thought. In most studies, the majority of patients retrospectively agreed that involuntary medication had been in their best interest. Anecdotal claims by opponents of involuntary medication that involuntary treatment has widespread, devastating, and lasting effects are not supported by these studies.

Read more: http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/medical/involuntary-medication.html