Diazepam, first marketed as Valium by Hoffmann-La Roche, is a benzodiazepine derivative drug, which possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant and amnestic properties and is commonly used for treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, and muscle spasms.
Diazepam is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic health care system. Diazepam is used to treat a wide range of conditions and has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world for the past 40 years.
Diazepam trades as Valium tablets in USA and many other countries; Valium capsules in Italy, Spain;
Novodipam in Canada; Relanium in Poland; Seduxen in Hungary, Russia; Diazepam-Desitin rectal solution in Hungary,
and other European countries; Diazepam-Intensol; Valrelease; Diapam in Finland; Stesolid in Sweden, Iceland, and Norway;
Anxicalm in Ireland; Valpam in Australia; Vival tablets in Norway; Normabel tablets in Croatia;
Stedon tablets in Greece; and Plidex tablets in Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile.
Valium (diazepam) is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced.
Diazepam has a broad spectrum of indications (most of which are off-label),
- Treatment of anxiety, panic attacks, and states of agitation.
- Treatment of status epilepticus, adjunctive treatment of other forms of
- Treatment of the symptoms of alcohol and opiate withdrawal
- Short-term treatment of insomnia.
- Treatment of tetanus, together with other measures of
- Initial management of mania, together with firstline drugs like lithium,
valproate, lamotrigine or other antipsychotics
- Adjunctive treatment of painful muscle conditions
- Adjunctive treatment of spastic muscular paresis (para-/tetraplegia)
caused by cerebral or spinal cord conditions such as stroke, multiple
sclerosis, spinal cord injury (long-term treatment is coupled with other
- Palliative treatment of stiff person syndrome.
- Used to alleviate the symptoms of Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
- Pre-/postoperative sedation, anxiolysis and/or amnesia (e.g. before
endoscopic or surgical procedures)
- Treatment of overdosage with hallucinogens or CNS stimulants.
- Adjunctive treatment of drug-induced seizures, resulting from exposure
to sarin, VX, soman (or other organophosphate poisons; See CANA), lindane,
chloroquine, physostigmine, or pyrethroids
- Emergency treatment of eclampsia, along with IV magnesium sulfate
- Prophylactic treatment of oxygen toxicity during hyperbaric oxygen
- Used in the treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
- Used to treat pain resulting from muscle spasms caused by various
spastic dystonias, including blepharospasm, spasmodic dysphonia and Meige's