Diazepam

Brand

Valium (tablets), Diazepam Intensol (oral solution), Valium, Zetran, Dizac (injectables)

Availability

  • Valium Tablets: 2 mg, 5 mg, & 10 mg
  • Diazepam Intensol Oral Solution: 1 mg/mL, 5 mg/mL
  • Valium Injectable: 5 mg/mL in 3 mL vials

Pharmacology:

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine that produces antianxiety, sedation, muscle relaxing and anticonvalscent effects.
It potentiates GABAergic inhibition depressing the central nervous system.

The drug is rapidly absorbed orally, but is slower and incompletely absorbed when given IM.
It is metabolized in the liver, widely distributed in the body, distributed in breast milk, and eliminated in urine.

Benzodiazepines may cause congenital defects and are not recommended to be given to pregnant animals.

Indications:

Used to decrease anxiety, relax muscle, restrain or sedate, and to reduce seizure activity.

Drug Interactions or Contraindications:

  • The following drugs may decrease diazepam metabolism and increase sedative effect:
    • cimetidine
    • erythromycin
    • isoniazid
    • ketaconazole
    • propanolol
    • valporic acid.
  • Additive effects can occur with ivermectin, other MAO inhibitors, barbiturates, narcotics and anesthetics.
  • May increase effects of digoxin.
  • Use cautiously in hepatic and renal disease.
  • Injected diazepam should be given slowly in small animals to prevent cardiotoxicity.

Adverse Reactions:

CNS: depresses CNS, confusion, decreased reflex, respiratory depression, ataxia

CV: lowers blood pressure (hypotension), slows heart rate (bradycardia)

Skin: pruritus (itching)

Other: pain locally at injection site.

Dosage Recommendations

3 mg/kg to 5 mg/kg, IM; sedation  1, 27

or

0.5 mg/kg to 5 mg/kg, IM, IP, IV; seizures, sedation  1, 41

or

2.3 mg/lb (for procedures such as tooth-trimming and X-rays)  3, 12

or

When combined with butorphanol: 1 mg/lb diazepam and 0.25 mg/lb butorphanol. 3, 12

Considerations

  • Give 2 hours following antacids.
  • Avoid discontinuing abruptly when using to control seizures.
  • Not recommended to be mixed in with other medications.
  • If given orally mix in with semi-solid food.
  • Do not store med in plastic syringe, or plastic container; absorbs into plastic.
  • Store at room temperature in tight container and away from light.

Cross-references

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