Diazepam ⚕ effect, side effects, dosage

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Diazepam at a glance

diazepam belongs to the drug group of the so-called benzodiazepines, colloquially called “tranquilizers” and often as Valium known. Learn all about the active ingredient, the effects, the side effects and the advantages and disadvantages of diazepam drops and tablets.

What is Diazepam? – A blessing and a curse …

The individual drugs of the drug group of benzodiazepines are distinguished by their half-life. Diazepam is a drug with a long half-life. In middle-aged people, after about 30 hours, about half of the drug is still present in the body, the metabolites are even longer active. The older the patient, the longer the half-life. This can take up to 80 hours, which must be taken into account.

Diazepam drops and tablets are mainly used psychiatric states of excitement, anxiety, insomnia and for treatment epileptic seizures. It also comes in the Alcoholism Treatment used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and to prevent seizures. It also has a relaxing effect on the muscles.

Diazepam drops – A look at the Google image search shows how many different pharmaceutical manufacturers have the benzodiazepine in the form of drops as well as in the form of suppositories / tablets on offer – can be earned with the dependency good money?

The agent was first synthesized by Leo Sternbach in the 1960s and sold under the trade name “Valium” brought by the company Hoffmann-La Roche on the market. It was thus after Librium the second benzodiazepine ever. As with all of these medicines, the major dependency potential is the most significant problem. Meanwhile, the agent is available under different trade names (for example Valium or Faustan), wherein the term “diazepam” refers to the chemical agent.

Diazepam effect: how does the drug work?

Diazepam binds to the so-called brain in the brain GABA receptors and unfold his calming effect , because the nerve cells are inhibited in their excitement. It leads to relaxation, triggers sleep (see also Einschlafstörungen), has an anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and sedative. In psychiatric practice and in emergency medicine, it is therefore an indispensable remedy for the treatment of acute agitation, shock, spasms or anxiety and, among other things, has been included by the WHO in the list of essential medicines to which everyone on the World should have access. Unlike other sedative classes, these remedies tend to be well tolerated and the effects are rapid and effective. This is a definite advantage. However, they only dampen the symptoms and do not eliminate the causes.

In addition to its relaxing effects, Diazepam can also to lift the mood. This is partly due to the fact that, for example, panic attacks can have a very detrimental effect on the psychic life of patients (see panic attack) and therefore the relaxation is greater when the fear subsides suddenly. Another reason is the chemical structure of the drug and its specific mode of action: what was previously so threatening and alarming appears after taking it in a different, softer light. This explains why the psychic addiction potential is so high because patients tend to want to experience that sense of well-being of the “pink glasses” again and again.

YOUTUBE: The Story · WDR · Germany on Drug · Benzodiazepines > Valium, Tavor & Co. Shortly after the discovery of the tranquilizers 50 years ago, the Rolling Stones sing of “Mother‘s little helper.” Used in fears and insomnia, the highly effective drugs are celebrated as miracle drugs. But soon you know: They are a blessing and a curse at the same time – because the sedatives are quickly addictive. 10.4 million packs go today in German pharmacies over the counter. Without realizing it, people are caught in a vicious circle of dependency and withdrawal. About 1.4 million Germans are estimated to be dependent on tablets. The side effects are fatal, the withdrawal is hard. Many became dependent on prescription. What is the prescription practice of these highly effective drugs? Is the education about the addictive potential sufficient? the story “Germany on Drug” answers these questions and tells the story of Le >

Diazepam dosage and application?

The drug should be in a as low dosage as possible be taken over a maximum period of a few weeks. Because it is a benzodiazepine, it quickly develops a tolerance, so that patients who have become accustomed to the drug usually soon need a higher dose than at the beginning of the treatment to achieve the same relaxing effect. This is due to the mechanism of how the drug works to the GABA receptors in the brain: the brain registers that more and more new substances are absorbing, and therefore it retracts its natural mechanism of calming.

Since the remedy also acts as a propellant, it should be used in the evening if possible (see also: strong sleeping pills). The degree of dosing depends on the individual condition of the patient. The usual dosage is between two and 10 milligrams. It is possible to spread the dose over several daily doses.

There is diazepam in the form of tablets (in strengths of divisible two, five or ten milligrams), on the other hand as well drops, which quickly flood and quickly take effect. Drops, in contrast to tablets also have the advantage that can be dosed lower to achieve the minimum effective dose. A long-term intake should in any case only be done under medical supervision.

side effects

The most important side effect with diazepam is a possible mental and physical dependence to call, which can develop within a few weeks of ingestion. This also applies to the intended use in a therapeutic context.

About 1.9 million people in Germany are dependent on benzodiazepines such as diazepam. This was one of the most prescribed benzodiazepines shortly after the turn of the millennium. Other side effects are drowsiness, daytime weighting, difficulty concentrating and overhanging symptoms. In the long run increases the risk of memory gaps and falls (especially in the elderly).

In extreme cases, patients are barely able to learn new content and store it in long-term memory. It has also been found that the long-term use of diazepam increases the risk of dementia in old age. Also, the intelligence quotient decreases and cognitive losses are observed. The ability to drive is also significantly limited. The use of machines or vehicles is therefore discouraged during use and is punishable.

In the long run, emotional numbness, indifference, indifference, lack of structure and a personality change can occur. In case of overdose also so-called paradoxical reactions are possible. This means that the opposite effect of what is desired occurs and patients can become agitated and aggressive, suffer from insomnia or moodiness.

Diazepam is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation, as well as chronic muscle weakness or respiratory problems.

Diazepam (Valium) in the chemical structural formula | The diazepam effect occurs very quickly, can be a relief in the most difficult situations, but side effects and withdrawal symptoms have it all. This is bad in that the addictive potential is extremely high (© bacsica / Fotolia)

Interactions of drops and tablets …

Like all medicines, so can Diazepam interactions with other medications like antidepressants (see our antidepressants review), anticonvulsants, anesthetics, anxiolytics and neuroleptics. Especially in combination with antipsychotics (see antipsychotic medicines) increases at high dosage, the risk of respiratory depression, which can lead to suffocation in extreme cases.

Alcohol should be strictly avoided during treatment with Diazepam >Concurrent use of alcohol is strongly discouraged .

If you are taking several medications that affect the central nervous system, you should check with your doctor or a qualified pharmacist for possible drug-drug interactions. Other methods of relaxation and reassurance may be possible.

Diazepam withdrawal and withdrawal symptoms

Since diazepam has a long half-life and is deposited in the fatty tissue, withdrawal can be complicated. As a rule, the drug is gradually washed out in small increments to make the withdrawal symptoms bearable. Starting with a minimal effective initial dose, the drug is usually dosed weekly in milligram increments. This can be difficult because, due to the chemical nature of the drug, the patient often feels he can not withstand the withdrawal. Frequently, a weaning is stopped again and sufferers resort again to the drug. Depending on the level of dependency, benzodiazepine withdrawal may be harder than heroin withdrawal.

Withdrawal can be outpatient or inpatient. It is between Low dose dependence and High dose dependence distinguished. A low-dose dependency is said to be up to 20 milligrams per day. This is the most common form of diazepam dependence. Regular doses over 20 milligrams daily are referred to as high dose dependency. A low dose dependency can often be overcome on an outpatient basis. Sometimes it is not even the goal to wean the patients completely, but only to reduce the dose. This is especially true when older patients have been consuming the drug for many years. Weaning phenomena can be tremor, anxiety, sweats, seizures, hallucinations, insomnia, and agitation. The symptoms, which were originally supposed to be suppressed by the remedy, thus increasingly appear again. One speaks of a so-called Rebound effect. An abrupt discontinuation is therefore urgently advised against, because especially then the risk of convulsion increases (pharmaceutical-zeitung.de).

YOUTUBE: A personal story about benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal, starting with the drug Tavor (youtube.com/watch?v=3zl7VSKgoM8)

Valium without a prescription?

While Valium was widely prescribed in the 1960s and 1970s, physicians generally have become reluctant to prescribe benzodiazepines because of their high dependence potential, even though they may make sense in medical practice. While benzodiazepines were still among the most prescribed psychotropic drugs in the 1990s, the trend is in sharp decline. Since there are nearly two million benzodiazepine addicts in Germany on the other hand, different providers advertise especially on the Internet with a non-prescription (“Valium without prescription”, “Diazepam drops without prescription”, “over-the-counter Benzos”). But here extreme caution is appropriate. In general, these providers are not serious. This can be recognized, for example, if there is no imprint and the text is written in faulty German. In the best case, you will get pressed milk sugar, in the worst case toxic substances with the most serious side effects and that at a completely overpriced price. The advertisement “Buy Valium Without Prescription” is therefore usually a trap. Illegal drug trade is also punishable. In the case of a reference from abroad (for example, via online pharmacies from countries where diazepam drops or tablets are not prescription) there is a risk that the trade will be discovered at customs during the inspection. Even then, a penalty threatens.


Using medications such as diazepam may be useful in certain situations, as these agents work very effectively and quickly in acute crises and are well tolerated. However, the intake of mood-altering tablets should be limited to the shortest possible time in the lowest possible dosage. Otherwise serious health problems threaten. Benzodiazepines are therefore often referred to by professionals as “blessings and curses” at the same time.


  • just as drops are effective quickly and effectively
  • can be life-saving
  • well-tolerated in reasonable dosage
  • indispensable in psychiatric practice and emergency medicine


  • high psychological and physical dependence potential
  • in the long term health losses due to side effects
  • Development of cognitive deficits
  • fall Hazards

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