Nervous System Home > Precautions and Warnings With Diazepam Rectal Gel
Prior to beginning treatment, you should review the precautions and warnings with diazepam rectal gel. These include potential drug interactions, the safety of taking the drug when pregnant or breastfeeding, and the risk of developing serious side effects. When discussing precautions and warnings with diazepam rectal gel with your healthcare provider, explain your complete medical history, including any medications you are taking.
Diazepam Rectal Gel: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking diazepam rectal gel (Diastat®) if you have:
- Petit mal seizures or absence seizures
- Asthma, pneumonia, or other breathing problems
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings With Diazepam Rectal GelWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking diazepam rectal gel include the following:
- Diazepam rectal gel is a controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to be abused. There are special rules and regulations for prescribing and dispensing it. Benzodiazepines (including diazepam rectal gel) are generally not recommended for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
- The medication can cause severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing, which may be life threatening. This risk is increased when diazepam rectal gel is combined with alcohol, narcotics, or other medications or substances that cause drowsiness and sedation (see Drug Interactions With Diazepam Rectal Gel). You should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how the drug will affect you.
- Diazepam rectal gel is not for daily use. Using it too often can make it less effective and can actually increase your risk of seizures. Let your healthcare provider know if you are using diazepam rectal gel more frequently than once a week (or five times a month).
- Elderly people are more sensitive to the effects of diazepam rectal gel and may need a lower dosage.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have liver or kidney disease, as your body may not handle diazepam rectal gel as well as it should.
- The medication can cause breathing problems, especially in people with asthma, pneumonia, or other lung problems.
- Other forms of diazepam (the active ingredient in diazepam rectal gel) have been known to cause dangerous seizures when used to treat petit mal seizures (also known as absence seizures). It is not known if this is also true of diazepam rectal gel.
- Diazepam rectal gel is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug while pregnant (see Diastat and Pregnancy).
- Diazepam rectal gel passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Diastat and Breastfeeding).