Hesperian Health Guides

Anti-anxiety Medicines

Diazepam


Diazepam can be used to relax muscles and calm the person. It can also be used to stop a single seizure. For people with ongoing seizures (epilepsy), use a different medicine, one that can be taken every day.

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Sleepiness.

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  • Too much diazepam can slow down or stop breathing. Do not give more than the recommended dose and do not give more than 2 doses.
  • Diazepam is a habit-forming (addictive) drug. Avoid long-term or frequent use.
  • Do not give during pregnancy or breastfeeding unless the woman has a seizure (for example, due to eclampsia).
  • Do not inject diazepam unless you have experience or training to do so. It is very difficult to give safely by injection. Instead, during a seizure, you can put it into the rectum (see below).


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To relax muscles and calm a person

Give diazepam tablets by mouth 45 minutes before a painful procedure like pushing in a hernia or setting a bone.
For children, give 0.2 to 0.3 mg per kg. If you cannot weigh the person, dose by age:
2 to 6 years: give 1 mg.
7 to 12 years: give 5 mg.
Over 12 years: give 10 mg.

For a seizure

Use the liquid solution for injection, or grind up 1 tablet and mix with water. Take the needle off a syringe, then draw up the medication and put it inside the rectum. Or use diazepam gel made for use in the rectum. Lay the person on her side and use the needle-less syringe to put the medicine deep into her rectum. Then hold her buttocks together for 10 minutes to keep the medicine in.
Under 7 years: give 0.2 mg per kg, one time.
7 to 12 years: give 3 to 5 mg, one time.
Over 12 years: give 5 to 10 mg, one time.

If the seizure is not controlled 15 minutes after giving the medicine, repeat the dose. Do not repeat more
than once.

Lorazepam


Lorazepam is very similar to diazepam. It can be used to relax muscles and calm the person. It can also be used to stop a single seizure. For people with ongoing seizures (epilepsy), use a different medicine, one that can be taken every day.

Side effectsGreen-effects-nwtnd.png

Sleepiness.

ImportantNBgrnimportant.png
  • Too much lorazepam can slow down or stop breathing.
  • Lorazepam is a habit-forming (addictive) drug. Avoid long-term or frequent use.
  • Do not give during pregnancy unless there is severe pre-eclampsia or seizures.
  • Do not inject lorazepam into a muscle or vein unless you have experience or training to do so. It is very difficult to give safely by injection. Instead, during a seizure, you can put it into the rectum (see above).
How to useNBgrnpill.png

To relax muscles and calm a person

Give lorazepam tablets by mouth 45 minutes before a painful procedure like setting a bone.
1 month to 12 years: give 0.05 mg per kg, one time.
Over 12 years: give 1 to 2 mg, one time.


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This page was updated:01 Feb 2021