Diazepam (Valium) Nursing Considerations

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Generic Name


Trade Name



Anxiety, pre-op sedation, conscious sedation, treatment of seizures, insomnia,
management of alcohol withdrawal


Decreases the effects of voltage gated sodium channels to depresses the CNS

Therapeutic Class

Antianxiety agents, anticonvulsants, sedative/hypnotics, skeletal muscle relax-
ants (centrally acting)

Pharmacologic Class


Nursing Considerations

• Contraindicated in hepatic dysfunction
• Use caution with renal impairment
• Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, lethargy, hypotension, physical depen-
dence, tolerance
• Instruct patient to take as directed
• Caution to avoid alcohol use
• Flumazenil (Romazicon) is the reversal agent

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Hey guys, let’s talk about diazepam also known as Valium. This is an oral medication, as you can see here in the picture, but it also comes in other forms like an injectable form. So when we think about the therapeutic class of a drug, this is how the drug works in the body while the pharmacologic class is the chemical effect. So for diazepam’s therapeutic class, it’s an anti-anxiety agent, also an anti-convulsant a sedative-hypnotic, and a skeletal muscle relaxant that is centrally acting. The pharmacologic class of diazepam is a benzodiazepine. So diazepam works by decreasing the effects of voltage-gated sodium channels that depress the central nervous system. We use diazepam for anxiety for conscious sedation treatment of seizures, insomnia, and also alcohol withdrawal. So remember diazepam works by depressing the central nervous system. So it makes sense that some of the side effects include drowsiness and lethargy also hypotension and dizziness. 

Let’s take a look at a few nursing considerations, use caution in patients with renal impairment and also in patients who have hepatic dysfunction. Super important to know that diazepam can cause physical dependence and tolerance. If administering diazepam, be sure that the reversal agent flumazenil or Romazicon is readily available. And guys, this is especially important if you work in the ER setting and you have a patient that comes in unresponsive and a drug overdose is suspected, especially if you do not the drug that may have been used. And finally, guys, because there is such a risk of dependence and tolerance, you must teach the patient to only take this medication as directed and to avoid alcohol use. That’s it for diazepam or Valium. Now go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing, the.

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