Data from FDA - Curated by Toby Galbraith - Last updated 01 September 2017

Indication(s)

INDICATIONS Valium is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic. In acute alcohol withdrawal, Valium may be useful in the symptomatic relief of acute agitation, tremor, impending or acute delirium tremens and hallucinosis. Valium is a useful adjunct for the relief of skeletal muscle spasm due to reflex spasm to local pathology (such as inflammation of the muscles or joints, or secondary to trauma), spasticity caused by upper motor neuron disorders (such as cerebral palsy and paraplegia), athetosis, and stiff-man syndrome. Oral Valium may be used adjunctively in convulsive disorders, although it has not proved useful as the sole therapy. The effectiveness of Valium in long-term use, that is, more than 4 months, has not been assessed by systematic clinical studies. The physician should periodically reassess the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

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Advisory information

contraindications
CONTRAINDICATIONS Valium is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to diazepam and, because of lack of sufficient clinical experience, in pediatric patients under 6 months of age. Valium is also contraindicated in patients with myasthenia gravis, severe respiratory insufficiency, severe hepatic insufficiency, and sleep apnea syndrome. It may be used in patients with open-angle glaucoma who are receiving appropriate therapy, but is contraindicated in acute narrow-angle glaucoma.
Special warnings and precautions
PRECAUTIONS General If Valium is to be combined with other psychotropic agents or anticonvulsant drugs, careful consideration should be given to the pharmacology of the agents to be employed – particularly with known compounds that may potentiate the action of diazepam, such as phenothiazines, narcotics, barbiturates, MAO inhibitors and other antidepressants (see Drug Interactions). The usual precautions are indicated for severely depressed patients or those in whom there is any evidence of latent depression or anxiety associated with depression, particularly the recognition that suicidal tendencies may be present and protective measures may be necessary. Psychiatric and paradoxical reactions are known to occur when using benzodiazepines (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Should this occur, use of the drug should be discontinued. These reactions are more likely to occur in children and the elderly. A lower dose is recommended for patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency, due to the risk of respiratory depression. Benzodiazepines should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE). In debilitated patients, it is recommended that the dosage be limited to the smallest effective amount to preclude the development of ataxia or oversedation (2 mg to 2.5 mg once or twice daily, initially, to be increased gradually as needed and tolerated). Some loss of response to the effects of benzodiazepines may develop after repeated use of Valium for a prolonged time. Information For Patients To assure the safe and effective use of benzodiazepines, patients should be informed that, since benzodiazepines may produce psychological and physical dependence, it is advisable that they consult with their physician before either increasing the dose or abruptly discontinuing this drug. The risk of dependence increases with duration of treatment; it is also greater in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Patients should be advised against the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other CNS-depressant drugs during Valium therapy. As is true of most CNS-acting drugs, patients receiving Valium should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness, such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. Drug Interactions Opioids The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and monitor patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation. Centrally Acting Agents If Valium is to be combined with other centrally acting agents careful consideration should be given to the pharmacology of the agents employed particularly with compounds that may potentiate or be potentiated by the action of Valium, such as phenothiazines, antipsychotics, anxiolytics/sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, narcotic analgesics, anesthetics, sedative antihistamines, narcotics, barbiturates, MAO inhibitors and other antidepressants. Alcohol Concomitant use with alcohol is not recommended due to enhancement of the sedative effect. Antacids Diazepam peak concentrations are 30% lower when antacids are administered concurrently. However, there is no effect on the extent of absorption. The lower peak concentrations appear due to a slower rate of absorption, with the time required to achieve peak concentrations on average 20 - 25 minutes greater in the presence of antacids. However, this difference was not statistically significant. Compounds Which Inhibit Certain Hepatic Enzymes There is a potentially relevant interaction between diazepam and compounds which inhibit certain hepatic enzymes (particularly cytochrome P450 3A and 2C19). Data indicate that these compounds influence the pharmacokinetics of diazepam and may lead to increased and prolonged sedation. At present, this reaction is known to occur with cimetidine, ketoconazole, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, and omeprazole. Phenytoin There have also been reports that the metabolic elimination of phenytoin is decreased by diazepam. Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility In studies in which mice and rats were administered diazepam in the diet at a dose of 75 mg/kg/day (approximately 6 and 12 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD=1 mg/kg/day] on a mg/m2 basis) for 80 and 104 weeks, respectively, an increased incidence of liver tumors was observed in males of both species. The data currently available are inadequate to determine the mutagenic potential of diazepam. Reproduction studies in rats showed decreases in the number of pregnancies and in the number of surviving offspring following administration of an oral dose of 100 mg/kg/day (approximately 16 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) prior to and during mating and throughout gestation and lactation. No adverse effects on fertility or offspring viability were noted at a dose of 80 mg/kg/day (approximately 13 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis). Pregnancy Category D (see WARNINGS: Pregnancy). Pediatric Use Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 6 months have not been established. Geriatric Use In elderly patients, it is recommended that the dosage be limited to the smallest effective amount to preclude the development of ataxia or oversedation (2 mg to 2.5 mg once or twice daily, initially to be increased gradually as needed and tolerated). Extensive accumulation of diazepam and its major metabolite, desmethyldiazepam, has been noted following chronic administration of diazepam in healthy elderly male subjects. Metabolites of this drug are known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function. Hepatic Insufficiency Decreases in clearance and protein binding, and increases in volume of distribution and half-life have been reported in patients with cirrhosis. In such patients, a 2- to 5- fold increase in mean half-life has been reported. Delayed elimination has also been reported for the active metabolite desmethyldiazepam. Benzodiazepines are commonly implicated in hepatic encephalopathy. Increases in half-life have also been reported in hepatic fibrosis and in both acute and chronic hepatitis (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Pharmacokinetics in Special Populations: Hepatic Insufficiency ).
Adverse reactions
ADVERSE REACTIONS Side effects most commonly reported were drowsiness, fatigue, muscle weakness, and ataxia. The following have also been reported: Central Nervous System: confusion, depression, dysarthria, headache, slurred speech, tremor, vertigo Gastrointestinal System: constipation, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances Special Senses: blurred vision, diplopia, dizziness Cardiovascular System: hypotension Psychiatric and Paradoxical Reactions: stimulation, restlessness, acute hyperexcited states, anxiety, agitation, aggressiveness, irritability, rage, hallucinations, psychoses, delusions, increased muscle spasticity, insomnia, sleep disturbances, and nightmares. Inappropriate behavior and other adverse behavioral effects have been reported when using benzodiazepines. Should these occur, use of the drug should be discontinued. They are more likely to occur in children and in the elderly. Urogenital System: incontinence, changes in libido, urinary retention Skin and Appendages: skin reactions Laboratories: elevated transaminases and alkaline phosphatase Other: changes in salivation, including dry mouth, hypersalivation Antegrade amnesia may occur using therapeutic dosages, the risk increasing at higher dosages. Amnestic effects may be associated with inappropriate behavior. Minor changes in EEG patterns, usually low-voltage fast activity, have been observed in patients during and after Valium therapy and are of no known significance. Because of isolated reports of neutropenia and jaundice, periodic blood counts and liver function tests are advisable during long-term therapy. Postmarketing Experience Injury, Poisoning and Procedural Complications There have been reports of falls and fractures in benzodiazepine users. The risk is increased in those taking concomitant sedatives (including alcohol), and in the elderly.

Usage information

Dosing and administration
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Dosage should be individualized for maximum beneficial effect. While the usual daily dosages given below will meet the needs of most patients, there will be some who may require higher doses. In such cases dosage should be increased cautiously to avoid adverse effects. ADULTS: USUAL DAILY DOSE: Management of Anxiety Disorders and Relief of Symptoms of Anxiety. Depending upon severity of symptoms—2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily Symptomatic Relief in Acute Alcohol Withdrawal. 10 mg, 3 or 4 times during the first 24 hours, reducing to 5 mg, 3 or 4 times daily as needed Adjunctively for Relief of Skeletal Muscle Spasm. 2 mg to 10 mg, 3 or 4 times daily Adjunctively in Convulsive Disorders. 2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily Geriatric Patients, or in the presence of debilitating disease. 2 mg to 2.5 mg, 1 or 2 times daily initially; increase gradually as needed and tolerated PEDIATRIC PATIENTS: Because of varied responses to CNS-acting drugs, initiate therapy with lowest dose and increase as required. Not for use in pediatric patients under 6 months. 1 mg to 2.5 mg, 3 or 4 times daily initially; increase gradually as needed and tolerated
Pregnancy and lactation
Nursing Mothers Diazepam passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding is therefore not recommended in patients receiving Valium.

Interactions

Drug Interactions Opioids The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and monitor patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation. Centrally Acting Agents If Valium is to be combined with other centrally acting agents careful consideration should be given to the pharmacology of the agents employed particularly with compounds that may potentiate or be potentiated by the action of Valium, such as phenothiazines, antipsychotics, anxiolytics/sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, narcotic analgesics, anesthetics, sedative antihistamines, narcotics, barbiturates, MAO inhibitors and other antidepressants. Alcohol Concomitant use with alcohol is not recommended due to enhancement of the sedative effect. Antacids Diazepam peak concentrations are 30% lower when antacids are administered concurrently. However, there is no effect on the extent of absorption. The lower peak concentrations appear due to a slower rate of absorption, with the time required to achieve peak concentrations on average 20 - 25 minutes greater in the presence of antacids. However, this difference was not statistically significant. Compounds Which Inhibit Certain Hepatic Enzymes There is a potentially relevant interaction between diazepam and compounds which inhibit certain hepatic enzymes (particularly cytochrome P450 3A and 2C19). Data indicate that these compounds influence the pharmacokinetics of diazepam and may lead to increased and prolonged sedation. At present, this reaction is known to occur with cimetidine, ketoconazole, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, and omeprazole. Phenytoin There have also been reports that the metabolic elimination of phenytoin is decreased by diazepam.

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number NDA013263
Agency product number Q3JTX2Q7TU
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 65084-313,65084-312
Date Last Revised 25-07-2017
Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
RXCUI 197589
Storage and handling STORAGE Store at room temperature 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C). Dispense in tight, light-resistant containers as defined in USP/NF.
Marketing authorisation holder Mckesson Rxpak Inc
Warnings WARNING: RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOIDS Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death (see Drug Interactions ). Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.