What are the possible uses for Diazepam?
Diazepam (Valium) is without a doubt one of the medications that has found the widest variety of uses in modern medicine. There are very few, if any medications that are used for such different conditions and medical cases, which is why this medication is on the list of essential medications for any health service in the world. In this article, we are going to talk about these possible uses for Diazepam, especially focusing on those that are the most common.
Today, Diazepam (Valium) is most commonly used in treatment of different anxiety disorders. For instance, it can be used for generalized anxiety disorder which is characterized by frequent feeling of fear or trepidation due to factors that would otherwise not cause such a response. There are a number of physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety and if this condition is severe, it can seriously diminish the quality of life of the patient. Diazepam may also be used for states of agitation and it is particularly effective in treatment of panic attacks due to the fact that it works very rapidly.
Diazepam (Valium) is also used as a treatment for insomnia, although it is used only for short-term insomnia cases. The adverse effects and the possibility of tolerance and dependence occurring makes it unsuitable for long-term treatment of insomnia.
Another use for Diazepam that is historically very important is in treatment of status epilepticus. This must not be confused with epilepsy as only about a fourth of the cases of status epilepticus are caused by epilepsy. These are in fact all seizures that last longer than five minutes and that are capable of damaging neurons in the brain. Diazepam was historically used as the first-line treatment in these cases, although it has been replaced by lorazepam for this use. Still, if lorazepam is not available, Diazepam is still the most commonly used drug in such cases. It can also be used for treating seizures that are caused by chemical toxicity and drug overdose, as well as those caused by fevers. In addition to this, Diazepam is often used in treating complications that arise from hallucinogen crisis or stimulant psychosis or overdoses, like from cocaine, methamphetamines or LSD.
In addition to this, Diazepam (Valium) is often used for pre or post-operative sedation, amnesia and anxiolysis, like for example prior to surgical procedures or endoscopic procedures. It is also used in treating tetanus, in combination with other medications and medical procedures and practices. Furthermore, Diazepam is also often used as an aid in alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal, where it can alleviate certain symptoms that would otherwise be very detrimental for the health of the individual and for their withdrawal process.
The main reason why Diazepam can be employed in so many different cases is that it holds a number of different properties that are considered beneficial in different situations. For instance, some of the properties that Diazepam holds are the anticonvulsant properties, anxiolytic properties, sedative, hypnotic and muscle relaxant properties. All of these are achieved via increasing the levels of GABA in the CNS, which as an effect has a reduction of neuronal activity.
It is important to keep in mind that some of the uses we have mentioned are off-label, which means that they have entered the practice due to the experiences that physicians have had with this medication.
Also, you should remember that Diazepam is still mainly used in treatment of anxiety disorders and for short-term treatment of insomnia. You will most likely be prescribed with Diazepam if you are suffering from these conditions.