What is the role of diazepam in emergency department (ED) sedation?

Updated: Nov 06, 2018
  • Author: Arul M Lingappan, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Diazepam, a longer-acting benzodiazepine, was the first benzodiazepine developed for intravenous use. It is insoluble in water and is commercially prepared in propylene glycol. The intravenous dose range for adults is 2-10 mg. The onset of action is relatively rapid, but the duration of action is 2-4 hours. It is metabolized almost exclusively in the liver; therefore, this drug should not be used in patients with cirrhosis. When it is broken down, its metabolites are not only active but possess very long half-lives (ie, 36-90 h). The drug profile of diazepam is not very conducive to procedural sedation.


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