Generic Name: Diazepam (dye-AZ-e-pam)

Drug Class: Antianxiety Agent


Drug Uses

This medicine is used for general anxiety disorders, panic disorders and can be used before surgery to relax you. This medicine may also be used to prevent seizures, as a muscle relaxant, and for patients coming off of alcohol.

General Information

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How it Works

This medicine works by increasing a chemical in your brain (gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA) that calms you.

How to Take It

Follow the directions your doctor has given you. This medicine can be taken on an empty stomach or with food or milk. Do not stop this medicine abruptly with talking to your doctor. Avoid uninterrupted and prolonged use of this medicine.

Possible Side Effects

    • drowsiness, dizziness or clumsiness
    • short term memory loss
    • fatigue
    • lightheadedness
    • headache
    • anxiety, depression
    • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
    • constipation


    • Avoid alcohol with this medicine because of the additive drowsiness effects.

    • Talk to your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease.

    • Do NOT drive a car or perform other tasks that may be dangerous, until you know how this medicine affects you.

    • Before taking diazepam, talk to your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease.


    • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center.

Drug Interactions

    • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you drink alcohol or take other sedative medications including barbiturates or opioid pain medications. Cimetidine (Tagamet), valproic acid (for seizures) and some antidepressants; Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft can increase the effects, and side effects of diazepam.

Missed Dose

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you are or plan to become pregnant, talk to you doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. For nursing mothers, this medication is excreted in breast milk and should not be used while breast-feeding.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
    Published on All rights reserved.