What Is Diazepam Prescribed For?

Diazepam (Valium®) is a prescription medication approved to treat several conditions. Specifically, diazepam is prescribed for:
  • Alcohol withdrawal (including agitation, shakiness, and delirium tremens)
  • Anxiety (only for short-term use)
  • Muscle spasms (caused by things such as joint or muscle inflammation, injury, or cerebral palsy)
  • Seizures (when used with other seizure medications).
As a benzodiazepine, diazepam works 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 diazepam and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
(For more information on what diazepam is prescribed for, click What Is Diazepam Used For? This article discusses how the drug works, why it is not safe for children under the age of six months old, and potential off-label uses.)
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