Before taking diazepam
Diazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Diazepam should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. You should not use this medication if you are allergic to diazepam, or if you have:
myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder);
severe liver disease;
a severe breathing problem; or
sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep).
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medicine. Before taking diazepam, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
kidney or liver disease;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
a history of mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
FDA pregnancy category D. Diazepam can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine while you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. Diazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The sedative effects of diazepam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking diazepam. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.