Diazepam belongs to the class of medications called benzodiazepines. It is used for the short-term relief of symptoms of mild-to-moderate anxiety or alcohol withdrawal (such as agitation). It is also used for reducing muscle spasms. It works by slowing down the nerves in the brain (i.e., central nervous system).
The recommended dose of diazepam for adults ranges from 2 mg to 10 mg, taken 2 to 4 times daily. For children older than 6 months, the initial dose usually ranges from 1 mg to 2.5 mg, taken 3 or 4 times daily. It is important that the dose be individualized to your specific needs to avoid excessive sleepiness or motor impairment. People over the age of 65 years often require lower doses of diazepam.
Diazepam is normally used at the lowest possible dose for a short period of time or as required. It may be habit-forming when taken for long periods of time. If you have been using this medication regularly for a long period of time (i.e., more than 1 month), do not stop using the medication without speaking with your doctor. To avoid withdrawal effects, a gradual reduction in dose is usually recommended when stopping this medication.