How Long Does Diazepam Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 – 20 Hours

Anxiety is commonly seen in people these days due to increased stress levels among people. However, it is of extreme necessity to keep stress levels under control to function with efficacy. Diazepam is an effective medication that is used by people to manage their anxiety and stress issues.

Another common condition for which diazepam is widely used is alcohol withdrawal. It helps in soothing the stressed muscles and provides relief to the body by calming the nerves inside the brain. It is also sometimes used as sedation before medical procedures and for treating seizures experienced by people.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs to which diazepam belongs. It includes all the medications that act on CNS (Central Nervous System) and help in stress management by lowering anxiety levels, providing relaxation, etc

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How Long Does Diazepam Last?

Diazepam is generally taken by mouth before or after having food as directed by one’s physician. The dosage of this medication should be strictly taken as per one’s requirement. Increased dosage does not mean that one would get the results faster, but would only increase the risk of side effects. Continuing the medication for a long time could eventually turn into an addiction.

Overuse of diazepam can cause one to experience mild to severe side effects like drowsiness, fatigue, headache, tremor, dizziness, nausea, etc. Mild side effects usually subside within a few days but if they become severe it is recommended to go to a doctor as soon as possible. If taken in extremely high doses, it could slow down one’s breathing and heart rate.

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Diazepam usually starts working fast and its effects can be experienced within 15 to 30 minutes after consumption. It quickly reaches the peak levels inside the body in about an hour. It is observed that the effects of diazepam last for about 6 to 20 hours. It has a half-life (i.e time taken to eliminate half a drug from the body) of approximately 20 hours.

Diazepam is a relatively long-lasting drug and can stay in the system for about 10 days. Thus, if one consumed diazepam in increased doses, it could take several days or even weeks for the drug to be eliminated.

ConditionsDuration
The effect of diazepam lasts for6 – 20 hours
Diazepam stays in one’s system forAbout 10 days

Why Does Diazepam Last This Long?

Diazepam is one of those benzodiazepine drugs that have a short onset action. It is fast-acting and long-lasting medicine used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, seizure, muscles spasms, anxiety, among others. One should never take this medication in excess as it is extremely addictive and could immediately become a habit.

Frequent use of this drug might make the body tolerant against the said drug, and thus to experience the euphoric effects of diazepam, one might start taking it in large quantities. However, this should be strictly avoided, as doing so could lead to serious complications later.

Diazepam has therapeutic uses and hence tends to get overused and abused. The most common side effect is the feeling of drowsiness that one experiences. Some of the usual doses of diazepam for various conditions are as under.

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For dealing with anxiety problems, the ideal dose is 2mg to 10mg per day. For sleep issues related to anxiety and muscle spasms, the dosage could be up to 15 mg. Older people and people with kidney, liver, or breathing problems are typically prescribed low doses to avoid any complexities.

Conclusion

The working of diazepam depends on its intended use. Generally, diazepam starts working fast and can last up to several hours. The initial effects of diazepam last only for about 6 to 20 hours. However, as diazepam is a long-lasting medication, it stays in the system for about 10 days,

Diazepam should not be consumed in more than the prescribed quantity by one’s doctor. It is usually recommended for a short period of up to 4 weeks. One could start experiencing its effects after 15 to 30 minutes after taking diazepam. Its actual effects will start wearing off after 6 to 20 hours.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/001429999090594V
  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/387648