Epilepsy Home > What Is Diazepam Used For?

A healthcare provider may prescribe diazepam for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, muscle spasms, or seizures. When used for treating seizures, diazepam can be helpful in stopping a seizure that is particularly hard to control. From time to time, diazepam may be used for the treatment of something other than the conditions mentioned above. Among these other, "off-label" diazepam uses are the treatment of insomnia, agitation, and benzodiazepine withdrawal.

An Overview of Diazepam Uses

Diazepam (Valium®) is a prescription medication that is used for the treatment of the following conditions:
 

Diazepam and Alcohol Withdrawal

Stopping alcohol "cold turkey" is not always a good idea. In fact, it can be very dangerous. People who drink heavily or frequently may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking alcohol too quickly. Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include slight shakiness (the "shakes"), alcohol cravings, nervousness, depression, or clammy skin. More severe symptoms may include:
 
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens ("DTs"), a group of symptoms including confusion, agitation, and hallucinations
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • A very rapid heart rate (tachycardia).
     
Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. It should always be done under a healthcare provider's supervision, and hospitalization is often necessary. Diazepam can help with agitation, shakiness, and delirium tremens associated with alcohol withdrawal.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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