Diastat is commonly prescribed to treat seizures in people who take other seizure medications, but who occasionally need additional medication during periods of increased seizure activity. It comes in the form of a rectal gel and must be administered by someone other than the person having the seizure. Although most people tolerate this medication well, side effects are possible, such as dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches.
What Is Diastat?Diastat® (diazepam rectal gel) is a prescription medication approved to treat seizures. It is intended for use by people who take other seizure medications on a daily basis, but who occasionally need an additional medication to treat periods of increased seizure activity.
How Does Diastat Work?Diastat is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have several effects on the body, including:
- Reducing anxiety
- Causing sleepiness
- Relaxing the muscles
- Stopping seizures
- Impairing short-term memory.
All medicines in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why Diastat and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
Diastat is a rectal gel that is used while a seizure is happening. It is an at-home option for treating such seizures and can decrease the need for emergency room visits.