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  • 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, particularly after extended periods of use. Long-term effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence, and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome upon dose reduction.

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