The need-to-know information for Diazepam


Pearls and Fun Nuggets

1. Diazepam works fast 🏃 When given into a vein, effects begin in one to five minutes and last up to an hour.[7] By mouth, effects begin after 15 to 60 minutes.[8]

2. It used to make bank 💵 In the United States it was the highest selling medication between 1968 and 1982, selling more than two billion tablets in 1978 alone.[5]

3. Overdose is rare, but it does happen 🙊 Although not usually fatal when taken alone, a diazepam overdose is considered a medical emergency and generally requires the immediate attention of medical personnel. The antidote for an overdose of diazepam (or any other benzodiazepine) is flumazenil (Anexate).

4. Benzos are favorable over barbiturates 👌The benzodiazepines gained popularity among medical professionals as an improvement over barbiturates, which have a comparatively narrow therapeutic index, and are far more sedative at therapeutic doses. The benzodiazepines are also far less dangerous; death rarely results from diazepam overdose, except in cases where it is consumed with large amounts of other depressants (such as alcohol or opioids).[72]

5. It’s used to help execute people 😳 The states of California and Florida offer diazepam to condemned inmates as a pre-execution sedative as part of their lethal injection program, although the state of California has not executed a prisoner since 2006.[119][120] In August 2018, Nebraska used diazepam as part of the drug combination used to execute the first death row inmate executed in Nebraska in over 21 years.[121]

Patient Perspectives

“It works well to stop seizures when they come in clusters or they are long lasting. My 14 year old daughter uses it and its the only thing that helps when she’s having a rough day.”


“I was given Valium intravenously for light sedation during a quick medical procedure. It worked very well, but about 30 minutes after the i.v. was removed I became very irritable and depressed and craved more. It also caused a slight temporary personality change in me that lasted the rest of the day. “


“Valium is the only thing that helped with severe muscle spasms in back. Tried fexeril( totally useless), tramadol, hydrocodone, nothing made a dent. Valium at night cures it in 2 days!!”

Brandon Simpson, PA-C
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