Nervous System Home > Diazepam Rectal Gel

Diazepam rectal gel is approved to treat increased seizure activity in people who are already taking seizure medications. It works by enhancing the calming effects of a certain chemical in the brain. Studies have shown that diazepam rectal gel decreases the frequency of seizures during these periods of increased activity and also reduces the number of emergency room visits. Side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches.

What Is Diazepam Rectal Gel?

Diazepam rectal gel (Diastat®) is a prescription medication approved to treat seizures. It is intended for use by people who take other seizure medications on a daily basis, but who occasionally need an additional medication to treat periods of increased seizure activity.
 
(Click What Is Diazepam Rectal Gel Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Diazepam Rectal Gel?

Diazepam rectal gel is currently made by DPT Laboratories Ltd. for Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
 

How Does Diazepam Rectal Gel Work?

Diazepam rectal gel is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have several effects on the body, including:
 
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing the muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
     
All medicines in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why diazepam rectal gel and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
 
Diazepam rectal gel is used while a seizure is happening. It is an at-home option for treating such seizures and can decrease the need for emergency room visits.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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