Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Efrain Antonio GonzalezEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1649

Generic Name


Brand Name

Valium, Diastat, and Diastat AcuDial


Anxiolytics, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, antianxiety agents, and skeletal muscle relaxants

Proposed Mechanism(s) of Action

Binds to benzodiazepine receptors at the GABA-A ligand-gated channel, thus allowing for neuronal hyperpolarization. Benzodiazepines enhance the inhibitory action of GABA via boosted chloride conductance. Diazepam also produces inhibitory action in the spinal cord and may provide therapeutic benefits for muscle spasms.


Anxiety disorder, symptoms of anxiety, acute agitation, muscle spasm, spasticity caused by upper motor neuron disorders, athetosis, stiff man syndrome, convulsive disorders (adjunctive), preoperative anxiety, and initial treatment of status epilepticus.

Off-Label Use

Insomnia, sedation in ICU, seizure disorder, and acute repetitive seizures (Orphan).

Side Effects


Respiratory depression, hepatic dysfunction (rare), renal dysfunction, blood dyscrasias,...

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References and Reading

  1. Physicians’ Desk Reference (71st ed.). (2017). Montvale: Thomson PDR.Google Scholar
  2. Stahl, S. M. (2007). Essential psychopharmacology: The prescriber’s guide (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Additional Information

  1. Free Drug Online and PDA Software. www.epocrates.com.
  2. Free Drug Online and PDA Software. www.medscape.com.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Psychology, Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  2. 2.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA