Diazepam rectal (for use in the rectum) is used to treat occasionally increased seizures (cluster seizures) in people with epilepsy who also routinely take other anti-convulsants. Diazepam rectal is not for long-term daily use to prevent seizures.
Diazepam rectal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use diazepam rectal if you have untreated or uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma.
Not all types of seizures can be treated with diazepam rectal. If you are a patient caregiver, do not give this medication unless you know how to recognize the symptoms of a seizure episode that should be treated with diazepam rectal.
Do not start or stop using any of your seizure medications during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to diazepam (Valium), or if you have untreated or uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma.
To make sure diazepam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing disorder;
- liver or kidney disease;
- a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction;
- if you use a narcotic (opioid) medication; or
- if you are allergic to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).
Do not start or stop taking diazepam during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice. Diazepam may cause harm to an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking diazepam for seizures.
Diazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.
How should I use diazepam rectal?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use diazepam rectal in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Not all types of seizures can be treated with diazepam rectal. If you are the caregiver, do not give this medication unless you know how to recognize the symptoms of a seizure episode that should be treated with diazepam rectal.
After giving diazepam rectal to another person, stay with the person for at least 4 hours and watch for changes in his or her breathing, and any side effects from the medicine.
Get emergency medical help if:
- the seizure has not stopped within 15 minutes after giving diazepam rectal;
- the seizure seems to be different from the person’s usual seizures;
- the seizures seems to be closer together or more severe than the person’s usual seizures; or
- the person has breathing problems, pale or blue-colored skin, or any other serious or unusual problems.
Diazepam rectal is used in combination with other seizure medications. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor’s advice.
Diazepam rectal is not for long-term daily use to prevent seizures. Using diazepam rectal daily over long periods can actually make your seizures more frequent or more severe. You may also have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using diazepam rectal.
Diazepam may be habit forming. 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.
Do not use this medication for longer than 5 days in a row without a doctor’s advice. Contact your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
After giving a dose of diazepam rectal, empty any leftover medicine from the syringe into a toilet and flush, or into a sink and rinse down the drain. Throw the empty syringe away where children and pets cannot get to it. Do not reuse a diazepam rectal syringe.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since diazepam rectal is used on an as needed basis, you are not likely to miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, loss of balance or coordination, limp or weak muscles, or fainting.
What should I avoid while using diazepam rectal?
Diazepam may impair your thinking or reactions. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other hazardous activities until you are alert and awake and you no longer feel drowsy from diazepam rectal.
Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.
Diazepam rectal side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if the person receiving this medication has:
- worsening seizures, or seizures that seem different from the patient’s other seizures;
- pale or discolored skin, feeling like you might pass out;
- confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior, unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger; or
- hyperactivity, agitation, hostility, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.
The sedative effects of diazepam rectal 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 using diazepam rectal.
Common side effects may include: