Valium belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. Diazepam helps in the treatment of anxiety, muscle spasms and convulsions
Diazepam tablets 10mg blue pills made in the UK by Almus or Activis
Diazepam 10mg tablets
1. What Diazepam tablets are and what they are used for
Diazepam belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. Diazepam helps in the treatment of anxiety, muscle spasms and convulsions (fits).
Diazepam tablets are used to treat a number of conditions, including:
- short term relief (2-4 weeks only) of severe anxiety, which is an emotional state where you may sweat, tremble, feel anxious and have a fast heart beat and may occur alone or with insomnia (trouble sleeping) or mental health problems
- helping muscles relax and for muscle spasm and cerebral palsy (a condition affecting the brain which causes movement problems and rigidity or stiffness)
- epilepsy (when taken with other medicines)
- patients with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
- helping to relax nervous dental patients.
- helping to treat tension and irritability caused by cerebral spasticity (a condition associated with a disease or trauma affecting the brain or spinal cord which causes weakness, un-coordinated movements, rigidity and stiffness)
- helping to treat muscle spasm caused by tetanus (when taken with other medicines).
Both adults and children can take Diazepam tablets before an operation to help with relaxation and to cause sleepiness.
2. Before you take
Do not take Diazepam tablets and tell your doctor if you
- are allergic (hypersensitive) to diazepam or to other benzodiazepine medicines or to any of the other ingredients in your tablets (see section 6)
- breathing problems, which may be severe, including slow and/or shallow breathing
- suffer from depression (with or without anxiety) or hyperactivity
- have a phobia (a fear of a particular object or situation) or other mental illness
- have myasthenia gravis (a condition which causes muscles to weaken and tire easily)
- suffer from sleep apnoea (a sleep disorder where you have abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep)
- have severe liver disorders
- have porphyria (an inherited condition causing skin blisters, abdominal pain and brain or nervous system disorders)
- planning a pregnancy or are pregnant (see below Pregnancy and breast-feeding).
Check with your doctor or pharmacist hotcanadianphamracy.com before taking Diazepam tablets if you
- have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse
- have problems with your heart and lungs or have severe kidney failure
- have someone close to you that has recently died
- have low blood levels of a protein called albumin
- have a personality disorder
- have a poor blood supply to the brain (arteriosclerosis)
- are elderly Diazepam tablets can cause confusion and have effects on muscles causing falls and injuries.
- have breathing difficulties
- suffer from depression
- have suicidal thoughts
- have epilepsy or a history of seizures
- Mental side effects – contact your doctor if you experience side effects such as agitation, hyperactivity, restlessness, aggressiveness, nightmares or hallucinations. These side effects are more likely to occur in children or the elderly.
- Amnesia (total or partial memory loss) – you could experience amnesia when taking this medicine. Amnesia is more likely to occur when taking high doses of diazepam.
- Dependence - when taking this medicine there is a risk of dependence, which increases with the dose and duration of treatment and also in patients with a history of alcoholism and drug abuse. Therefore, you should take Diazepam tablets for a short a period of time as possible.
- Tolerance – if after a few weeks you notice that the tablets are not working as well as they did when first starting treatment, you should speak to your doctor.
- Withdrawal – treatment should be gradually withdrawn. Withdrawal symptoms occur with Diazepam tablets even when normal doses are given for short periods of time. See Section 3, ‘If you stop taking Diazepam tablets.’
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Especially:
- antidepressants (e.g. fluvoxamine, fluoxetine)
- antipsychotics such as clozapine (to treat mental problems)
- antihistamines (to treat allergies)
- general anaesthetics
- sedatives (used to give calming effects)
- hypnotics (to help you sleep)
- erythromycin (an antibiotic)
- muscle relaxants (e.g. suxamethonium, tubocurarin)
- some strong pain killers such as morphine (opioids) may give you a heightened sense of well being when taken with diazepam, which can increase your desire to continue taking these medicines (dependency) or can make you very sleepy.
- barbiturates such as phenobarbital (to treat epilepsy and mental disorders)
- medicines to lower high blood pressure, diuretics (water tablets), nitrates (for heart conditions) as these could lower your blood pressure too much.
- antacids (reduces stomach acid) may slow down absorption of diazepam in the body.
Taking these medicines with diazepam could affect your mental status, make you very sleepy and suppress your breathing and blood pressure.
- disulfiram (to treat alcohol addiction). Taking this medicine with diazepam could make you very sleepy and can cause diazepam to be removed from the body more slowly than usual.
- medicines for epilepsy e.g. phenobarbital, phenytoin and carbamazepine, sodium valproate, (diazepam can affect the blood levels of these medicines). Diazepam can furthermore affect how phenytoin works.
- theophylline (to treat asthma and other breathing disorders), as it can weaken the effect of diazepam. As this can cause diazepam to be removed from the body more quickly than usual.
- cimetidine, omeprazole or esomeprazole (stomach acid reducing medicines), as these can cause diazepam to be removed from the body more slowly than usual.
- rifampicin, to treat infections (an antibiotic) as this can cause diazepam to be removed from the body more quickly than usual. The effect of diazepam can be weakened.
- amrenavir, atazanavir, ritonavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, indinavir, nelfinavir or saquinavir (antivirals),fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole or voriconazole (anti-fungal medicines) as these can cause diazepam to be removed from the body more slowly than usual and therefore increase the risk of side effects. As these can make you feel sleepy for longer or cause difficulty breathing.
- isoniazid (used to treat tuberculosis), as it can cause diazepam to be removed from the body more slowly than usual.
- oral contraceptives, as they can slow down the removal of diazepam from the body and increase its effect. Breakthrough bleeding can occur when taking diazepam and oral contraceptives together, but the contraceptive protection is not reduced.
- cisapride (used to treat stomach problems), as it can cause diazepam to be removed from the body more slowly than usual.
- corticosteroids (medicines used to treat inflammation in the body) as they can weaken the effect of diazepam.
- levodopa (used to treat Parkinson’s disease). Diazepam can reduct the effect of levodopa.
- valproic acid (used to treat epilepsy and mental disorders) as it can slow down the removal of diazepam from the body and increase its effect.
- ketamine (an anaesthetic) as diazepam increases the effect of ketamine.
- lofexidine (to help relieve symptoms when you stop taking opioids)
- nabilone (to treat nausea and vomiting)
- alpha blockers or moxonidine (to lower high blood pressure)
Taking Diazepam tablets with food and drink
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Diazepam tablets. Alcohol may increase the sedative effects of Diazepam tablets and make you very sleepy.
Grapefruit juice may increase the amount of diazepam in your blood. If you are elderly, suffer from cirrhosis or any of the conditions listed in section 2, this could possibly increase the sedative effects of Diazepam tablets and you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Drinks containing caffeine may reduce the effects of diazepam.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
You should not take Diazepam tablets if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast feeding. If you take Diazepam tablets late in your pregnancy or during labour your baby might have a low body temperature, floppiness, and breathing difficulties. If taken regularly during late pregnancy, your baby may develop withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Driving and using machines
Diazepam tablets can make you sleepy, forgetful, have poor co-ordination along with other side effects that can affect everyday activities (see Possible side effects). You should not drive, operate machinery or take part in such activities where, if affected, you could put yourself or others at risk.
The medicine can affect your ability to drive as it may make you sleepy or dizzy.
- Do not drive while taking this medicine until you know how it affects you.
- It is an offence to drive if this medicine affects your ability to drive.
- However, you would not be committing an offence if:
- The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem and
- You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber or in the information provided with the medicine and
- It was not affecting your ability to drive safely
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure whether it is safe for you to drive while taking this medicine.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Diazepam tablets
Diazepam tablets contain lactose (a type of sugar). If you have been told that you have intolerance to some sugars contact your doctor before taking this medicine.
3. How to take
Always take Diazepam tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. You should not take Diazepam tablets for longer than 4 weeks. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Swallow the tablets whole, with a glass of water.