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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking diazepam (Valium)?
Diazepam may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share diazepam with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to diazepam or similar drugs (Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Xanax, and others), or if you have:
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.
To make sure you can safely take diazepam, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use diazepam if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Diazepam may cause low blood pressure, breathing problems, or addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy.
Diazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The sedative effects of diazepam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking diazepam.
How should I take diazepam (Valium)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Diazepam should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 12 weeks (3 months) without your doctor's advice.
Do not stop using diazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking diazepam. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Call your doctor at once if you feel that this medicine is not working as well as usual, or if you think you need to use more than usual.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Diazepam is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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