What Meds

Psychiatric Medications


Diazepam
Brand Names: Valium, Valrelease, Diastat, Diastat Pediatric

Overview
Valium is a common brand name for Diazepam, an anti-anxiety agent, anti-convulsant, and muscle relaxant. Valium is a benzodiazepine and causes sedation. Valium works by reducing neuronal depolarization resulting in decreased action potentials. It enhances the action of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) by tightly binding to A-type GABA receptors, which opens membrane channels to allow the entry of chloride ions.

Why is this drug prescribed?
Valium is FDA-approved for:

How much of this drug is typically used?
Injection solution: 5mg/ml
Oral solution: 5 mg/5 ml
Tablet: 2, 5, 10 mg
Rectal gel (Diastat): 10, 20mg syringe

Warnings
Valium should not be given to infants under 1 month old. It should never be used for hyperactive or psychotic behavior in children.

Valium is very habit-forming and can cause dependence in only 2 weeks. Valium should not be taken for more than 4 weeks. Suddenly discontinuing this medication may cause withdrawal symptoms, or even cause seizures.

Valium may interfere with coordination and mental alertness. Patients should not drive or operate heavy machinery until they know that Valium does not affect the ability to safely engage in such activities.

For Pregnant or Nursing Mothers: When taken during pregnancy, Valium may lead to serious birth defects. In late pregnancy, it can cause " floppy infant" syndrome, a condition of inadequate muscle done in the newborn. Diazepam passes into breast milk. This drug is not recommended during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

Contraindications
Valium should Not be used for people with the following medical conditions:

Precautions
Valium may be used with caution in people with the following conditions:

Adverse Reactions
Valium may cause the following reactions:

Rarely:

Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
Drugs or substances that may interact with Valium include:

Use in Child Psychiatry
Diazepam is frequently used as an anti-seizure medication, and it has been approved for anxiety in children as young as 6 months. As a class, benzodiazepines are most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders in child psychiatry. They are sometimes used for adjunct treatment of bipolar mania and to treat catatonia. Overall, however, benzodiazepines are not as commonly used in children as adults due to concerns about potential dependence. Also, benzodiazepines may be more likely to cause paradoxical disinhibition in children compared to adults, especially in children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay.

Sources

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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