Today’s post is dedicated to Diazepam. For many this is a well-known drug, because it is commonly used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, and that is why many know it as an anxiolytic. Next, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about it, how it works, what tables it is prescribed for, what its possible side effects are and everything you need to know about what Diazepam is for.
What is Diazepam and how does it work?
It is a drug that, at the brain level, acts by facilitating the binding of the neurotransmitter GABA with its receptor. This inhibitory neurotransmitter is in the brain and what this drug does is increase its activity, which translates into a decrease in the functioning of certain areas of the brain.
This drug affects the hypothalamus, thalamus, and limbic system, and does not affect the peripheral autonomic nervous system. In any case, its action is long-term and during this time the patient may be drowsy, while it will help reduce anxiety levels, accompanied by a relaxation of all muscles.
What is Diazepam for?
It is a drug that is commonly used in treatments whose objective is to reduce anxiety, seizures, muscle agitation and also to control the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. But it not only works as a suppressant of the symptoms of anxiety, psychic tension and muscular agitation in the context of psychoneurotic disorders and states; It is also used as a medication prior to anesthesia, to induce it in the case of diagnostic interventions, surgeries or endoscopies.
We must not fail to mention that this is a drug that can also be used to treat panic attacks and irritable bowel syndrome.
Administration of Diazepam
This drug can be found in different forms, whether in tablets, capsules or in a solution to be administered via. The indication is always made that the tablets should be taken whole, they do not have to be chewed. Commonly, diazepam tends to be administered between 1 and 4 times a day, and it can be taken with or without food. In any case, it is important to know that you must follow the instructions given by the treating physician when taking diazepam, because everything will depend on the therapeutic effects you want to achieve and what it is used for.
It is important to know that like many psychotropic drugs, diazepam can cause dependence in the patient. This is why the indications given by the treating physician must be strictly followed and the doses should not be increased beyond those indicated, nor should the dose be prolonged for longer than indicated by the doctor nor reduce the frequency between taking and the other. We must also know that if this drug is taken long-term it can cause tolerance, which is why it is a drug that is used in short-term treatments. This is essential, since it is expected that the doctor can reassess treatment with this drug from time to time, specifically reevaluating the need to continue with this treatment. The expectation is that the treatment is not as corot as possible,
The gradual suspension of the medication is something that should not be overlooked, for this reason when the patient begins to feel better, they should not discontinue its consumption. Otherwise, if the drug is suddenly discontinued, one possible option is that the condition for which the treatment was started worsens and withdrawal symptoms may appear along with this, including irritability, changes in mood, anxiety and insomnia. This is why it is essential that the withdrawal is indicated by a doctor and is done gradually.
Side effects of Diazepam
There are different types of side effects that can appear after taking this drug.
The first side effects, in the sense that they are the most expected and about which we should not worry, are drowsiness, which is why it is common for the person to have more sleep during the day and the need to sleep, which is why find yourself more tired and weak. In addition, this state can be accompanied by dizziness. There may also be dry mouth, stomach discomfort, episodes of diarrhea and changes in appetite, which can fluctuate due to lack of appetite or being hungry all the time.
It can also happen that the person feels some weakness in the muscles, that there is a decrease in general alertness, and even have episodes of confusion and fatigue.
Yes, we must be more alert when other symptoms begin to appear, such as those that we will list below, especially when they have a severe degree of intensity or their duration is extended over time. This type of symptoms refers to excitement, which can be psychomotor, constipation problems, combined with the permanent urge to urinate or problems to do so. You may also have episodes of blurred vision and changes in your sexual attitude. In these cases, if it is necessary to make a visit to the doctor.
And finally, there are certain symptoms that as soon as they appear, the visit to the doctor should not be delayed, as they are more serious. In this case we speak of seizures, when walking begins to have loss of stability, which can be accompanied by tremors, which can appear and disappear, or be constant, they can even bother to be alone sitting. Febrile symptoms may appear, problems swallowing or breathing normally and palpitations. On the skin you can notice symptoms such as a rash and severe eruptions, as well as problems in color, which may look yellow, as well as the eyes.
Contraindications for Diazepam
There are certain cases in which the administration of this psychoactive drug is not recommended. One of them for patients who have hypersensitivity to benzodiazepines – since diazepam belongs to this group of psychotropic drugs. Nor should it be taken by patients who have alcoholism and drug dependence problems, except in those cases in which it is used to treat withdrawal symptoms in the case of detoxification.
For women who are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy or are breastfeeding, it is important that if they were on this diazepam treatment they quickly go to a doctor or consult before starting it.
Finally, it is contraindicated in patients suffering from severe liver or respiratory failure.
To finish this post, it is important to know that in case you do a blood test and are undergoing this treatment, you must inform the professional because it is a psychotropic drug that can alter the results. And we must not fail to clarify that this treatment should only be done under the supervision of a professional, since it cannot be given in the context of self-medication.
Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.