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Brand name: Betapam
Generic name: Diazepam
Betapam is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and for short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.
It is also used to relieve the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal, to relax muscles, to relieve the uncontrolled muscle movements caused by cerebral palsy and paralysis of the lower body and limbs, to control involuntary movement of the hands (athetosis), to relax tight, aching muscles, and, along with other medications, to treat convulsive disorders such as epilepsy.
Betapam is a core medicine in the World Health Organization's "Essential Drugs List", which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic health care system. Betapam is used to treat a wide range of conditions and has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world for the past 40 years. It was first synthesized by Dr. Leo Sternbach.
Most important fact about Betapam
Betapam can be habit-forming or addictive. You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using Betapam abruptly. Discontinue or change your dose only on your doctor's advice.
How should you take Betapam ?
Take Betapam exactly as prescribed. If you are taking Betapam for epilepsy, make sure you take it every day at the same time.
If you miss a dose of Betapam
Take Betapam as soon as you remember if it is within an hour or so of the scheduled time. If you do not remember until later, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.
Storage instructions for Betapam
Store away from heat, light, and moisture.
What side effects may occur when taking Betapam ?
Side effects of Betapam cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Betapam.
More common side effects of Betapam may include:
Anxiety, drowsiness, fatigue, light-headedness, loss of muscle coordination
Side effects due to a rapid decrease in dose or abrupt withdrawal from Betapam:
Abdominal and muscle cramps, convulsions, sweating, tremors, vomiting
Why should Betapam not be prescribed ?
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Betapam, you should not take Betapam.
Do not take Betapam if you have the eye condition known as acute narrow-angle glaucoma.
Anxiety or tension related to everyday stress usually does not require treatment with such a powerful drug as Betapam. Discuss your symptoms thoroughly with your doctor.
Betapam should not be prescribed if you are being treated for mental disorders more serious than anxiety.
Special warnings about Betapam
Betapam may cause you to become drowsy or less alert; therefore, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how Betapam affects you.
If you have liver or kidney problems, use Betapam cautiously.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Betapam
Betapam slows down the central nervous system and may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking Betapam.
If Betapam is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Betapam with any of the following:
Antiseizure drugs such as Dilantin
Antidepressant drugs such as Elavil and Prozac
Antipsychotic drugs such as Mellaril and chlorpromazine
Barbiturates such as phenobarbital
Levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet)
MAO inhibitors (antidepressant drugs such as Nardil)
Narcotics such as Percocet
Special information on Betapam if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Do not take Betapam if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There is an increased risk of birth defects.
If Betapam is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
Recommended dosage of Betapam
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders and Short-Term Relief of the Symptoms of Anxiety
The usual dose, depending upon severity of symptoms, is 2 milligrams to 10 milligrams 2 to 4 times daily.
Acute Alcohol Withdrawal
The usual dose is 10 milligrams 3 or 4 times during the first 24 hours, then 5 milligrams 3 or 4 times daily as needed.
Relief of Muscle Spasm
The usual dose is 2 milligrams to 10 milligrams 3 or 4 times daily.
The usual dose is 2 milligrams to 10 milligrams 2 to 4 times daily.
Betapam should not be given to children under 6 months of age.
The usual starting dose for children over 6 months is 1 to 2.5 milligrams 3 or 4 times a day. Your doctor may increase the dosage gradually if needed.
The usual dosage is 2 milligrams to 2.5 milligrams once or twice a day, which your doctor will increase as needed. Your doctor will limit the dosage to the smallest effective amount because older people are more apt to become oversedated or uncoordinated.
Overdosage of Betapam
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Betapam , seek medical attention immediately.
Symptoms of Betapam overdose may include:
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