Onset and Duration
Dosage and Administration
Benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic, anticonvulsant
Diazepam is frequently prescribed to treat anxiety and stress. In emergency care, it is used to treat alcohol withdrawal and grand mal seizure activity. Diazepam acts on the limbic, thalamic, and hypothalamic regions of the CNS to potentiate the effects of inhibitory neurotransmitters, raising the seizure threshold in the motor cortex. It may also be used in conscious patients during cardioversion to induce amnesia and sedation. Though the drug is still widely used as an anticonvulsant, it is relatively weak and of short duration. Rapid IV administration may be followed by respiratory depression and excessive sedation.
Acute anxiety states
Acute alcohol withdrawal
Hypersensitivity to the drug
Diazepam may precipitate CNS depression and psychomotor impairment when the patient is taking CNS depressant medications
Should not be administered with other drugs because of possible precipitation (incompatible with most fluids; should be administered into an IV of normal saline solution).
Amnesia for cardioversion
Pregnancy safety: Category D.
May cause local venous irritation.
Has short duration of anticonvulsant effect.
Reduce dose by 50% in elderly patients.
Resuscitation equipment should be readily available.