Definitions for diazepamdaɪˈæz əˌpæm
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a benzodiazepine, C16H13ClN2O, used chiefly as a muscle relaxant and to alleviate anxiety.
Origin of diazepam:
appar. (benzo )diazep (ine ) +-am, of unexplained orig.
a tranquilizer (trade name Valium) used to relieve anxiety and relax muscles; acts by enhancing the inhibitory actions of the neurotransmitter GABA; can also be used as an anticonvulsant drug in cases of nerve agent poisoning
A minor tranquillizer with sedative effects, taken to reduce anxiety.
Origin: From (benzo)diazep(ine) + -am of unknown origin.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID activity.
Diazepam, first marketed as Valium by Hoffmann-La Roche, is a benzodiazepine drug. It is commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures, muscle spasms, restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal, opiate withdrawal syndrome and Ménière's disease. It may also be used before certain medical procedures to reduce tension and anxiety, and in some surgical procedures to induce amnesia. It possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and amnestic properties. The pharmacological action of diazepam enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA by binding to the benzodiazepine site on the GABAA receptor leading to central nervous system depression. Adverse effects of diazepam include anterograde amnesia and sedation, as well as paradoxical effects such as excitement, rage or worsening of seizures in epileptics. Benzodiazepines also can cause or worsen depression. Long-term effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome upon dose reduction. After cessation of benzodiazepines, cognitive deficits may persist for at least six months and it was suggested that longer than six months may be needed for recovery from some deficits. Diazepam also has physical dependence potential and can cause serious problems of physical dependence with long term use. Compared to other benzodiazepines, though, physical withdrawal from diazepam following long term use is usually far more mild due to its long elimination half-life. Nevertheless, urgent action by national governments to improve prescribing practices has been recommended. Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence, with its low potency, long duration of action and the availability of low-dose tablets making it ideal for gradual dose reduction and the circumvention of withdrawal symptoms.