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). 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.
Diazepam has a number of uses including:
- Treatment of anxiety, panic attacks, and states of agitation
- Treatment of neurovegetative symptoms associated with vertigo
- Treatment of the symptoms of alcohol, opiate, and benzodiazepine withdrawal
- Short-term treatment of insomnia
- Treatment of tetanus, together with other measures of intensive treatment
- Adjunctive treatment of spastic muscular paresis (paraplegia/tetraplegia) caused by cerebral or spinal cord conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury (long-term treatment is coupled with other rehabilitative measures)
- Palliative treatment of stiff person syndrome
- Pre- or postoperative sedation, anxiolysis and/or amnesia (e.g., before endoscopic or surgical procedures)
- Treatment of complications with a hallucinogen crisis and stimulant overdoses and psychosis, such as LSD, cocaine, or methamphetamine
- Preventative treatment of oxygen toxicity during hyperbaric oxygen therapy
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.
Intravenous diazepam or lorazepam are first-line treatments for status epilepticus. 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. 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.
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.
It is sometimes used intermittently for the prevention of febrile seizures that may occur in children under five years of age. This use, however, is not typically recommended as the benefits are small and side effects are common. 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.
Diazepam is used for the emergency treatment of eclampsia, when IV magnesium sulfate and blood-pressure control measures have failed. Benzodiazepines do not have any pain-relieving properties themselves, and are generally recommended to avoid in individuals with pain. 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. Tolerance often develops to the muscle relaxant effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam.Baclofen or tizanidine is sometimes used as an alternative to diazepam.
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.
“The horrific life-destroying implications of benzodiazepines have been known about for decades and yet the medical profession remain largely in denial of the damage. The doctors are in denial not us. They conspired with Big Pharma to turn us into accidental addicts. Blah blah blah. The Department of Health, the BMA, and Parliament have a duty to give justice to those whose lives have been ruined. Blah blah. There must be an inquiry for the sake of future generations and for those undergoing the horrific consequences of this iatrogenically induced pandemic. Iatrogenic? Big word that means the doctors did it and we hate them. Pandemic? An epidemic of infectious disease that has spread throughout the world? Get a grip.”
Even though it is a UK petition, signatures are being solicited, at secret online sites, not only from UK, but also from U.S. and Canadian, citizens. At last count they had 604 signatures. Their goal is 1000. One of the doctor-bashing groups claims to have over 1500 members but can’t even rouse a significant percentage of its members to sign the petition (they don’t have 1500 active members). Benzo Buddies claims 28,000 members but over 90% of the listed membership never posts, or has posted once, and ran from the site screaming (it is rumored Benzo Buddies even keeps deceased members on the membership rolls). If Benzo Buddies had that many members it would be very easy to get 5,000 of them to sign a petition that bashes doctors — some movement. It is as fake as their claims Big Pharma targeted them.
- UK population 64 million
- U.S. population 319 million
- Canadian population 36 million
That is to say, out of a combined total population of 419 million only 604 people signed this garbage. What percentage is that? Pathetic is not even the right word to describe this.
Medication helps people live productive lives.