Diazepam, initially introduced to the market under the brand name Valium, is a drug that belongs to the benzodiazepine class, widely used for its anxiolytic properties. It’s frequently employed in the management of numerous medical conditions such as anxiety disorders, seizure activity, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasticity, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome. Moreover, Diazepam 10mg is utilized as anti-anxiety tablets and in certain medical procedures to induce memory loss.

The medication can be administered in various forms, including oral intake, rectal insertion, intramuscular injection, intravenous injection, or even as a nasal spray. When administered intravenously, its effects become evident within one to five minutes and may persist for up to an hour. When taken orally, the onset of effects is typically between 15 to 60 minutes.

Hoffmann-La Roche first patented diazepam in 1959. Upon its introduction in 1963, it quickly became one of the most commonly prescribed medications worldwide. Notably, it held the title of the top-selling medication in the United States from 1968 to 1982, with an impressive record of more than 2 billion tablets sold in 1978 alone. By 2020, it remained popular, ranking as the 128th most commonly prescribed medication in the US with over 4 million prescriptions. The patent for diazepam expired in 1985, leading to the availability of more than 500 brands on the market today. The World Health Organization recognizes diazepam as part of its List of Essential Medicines, underscoring its crucial role in global health.

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How Does Diazepam Work?

Benzodiazepines, including diazepam, modulate the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, by acting at distinct locations. Their mechanism involves binding to a special site at the juncture of alpha and gamma subunits on GABA-A receptor chloride ion channels, a site referred to as allosteric.


The allosteric attachment of diazepam to the GABA-A receptor augments the rate of chloride channel opening, consequently enhancing the permeability of chloride ions. The subsequent influx of these negatively charged ions leads to a hyper polarization of the neuronal membrane, resulting in a decrease in neuronal excitability.

Precautions to Keep In Mind While Consuming Diazepam

  • Inform your healthcare provider about any allergies to diazepam, other benzodiazepines, or any other substances you are allergic to.
  • Thoroughly discuss your medical history with your doctor, emphasizing conditions like myasthenia gravis, lung or breathing issues, mental health conditions, substance use disorders, glaucoma, and liver or kidney diseases.
  • Diazepam may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision; these effects can be amplified by alcohol or cannabis. Refrain from activities requiring alertness until you are certain you can perform them safely and avoid alcohol.
  • Older adults using diazepam may experience intensified side effects like drowsiness, loss of coordination, and mood changes, increasing the risk of falls.
  • Discuss with your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant; diazepam can harm the unborn child and cause several complications in newborns.
  • Diazepam can pass into breast milk and potentially harm a nursing infant, so breastfeeding is generally not recommended while taking this medication.

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