What is Diastat?
Diazepam , first marketed as Valium by Hoffmann-La Roche, is a benzodiazepine drug. It is commonly used to treat a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures (including status epilepticus), muscle spasms (such as in tetanus cases), restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, opioid withdrawal syndrome, and Ménière's disease. It may also be used before certain medical procedures (such as endoscopies) to reduce tension and anxiety, and in some surgical procedures to induce amnesia (it may be used to hasten the onset of intravenous (IV) anesthesia while reducing dose requirements or as the sole agent when IV anesthesia is not available or is contraindicated).
It possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and amnestic properties.
Adverse effects of diazepam include anterograde amnesia (especially at higher doses) and sedation, as well as paradoxical effects such as excitement, rage, or worsening of seizures in epileptics. Benzodiazepines also can cause or worsen major depression, particularly after extended periods of use . Long-term effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence, and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome upon dose reduction. After cessation of benzodiazepines, cognitive deficits may persist for at least six months and longer than six months may be needed for recovery from some deficits. Diazepam also has physical dependence potential and can cause serious problems of physical dependence with long-term use. Compared to other benzodiazepines, though, physical withdrawal from diazepam following long-term use is usually far more mild due to its long elimination half-life. Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence, with its low potency, long duration of action, and availability of low-dose tablets, making it ideal for gradual dose reduction and the circumvention of withdrawal symptoms. Diazepam can also be used to treat depression, but newer drugs are generally favored as more effective.
Advantages of diazepam are a rapid onset of action Diazepam is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's Essential Drugs List, the minimum medical needs for a basic health-care system. Diazepam, first synthesized by Leo Sternbach, has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world since its launch in 1963.