Diastat and Diastat Acudial are brand-name prescription medications. They’re FDA-approved to treat seizures in people with refractory epilepsy. Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. For this use, Diastat and Diastat Acudial may be used in adults and children ages 2 years and older.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial are used as add-on therapies for people taking a stable dosage of at least one anti-epileptic drug, who need additional seizure control. For more information, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section below.

Drug details

Diastat and Diastat Acudial contain the active ingredient diazepam. Diastat comes as a gel inside prefilled syringes that are used to give the medication rectally. The syringes have a special molded tip for application (no needle is used).

“Acudial” refers to a special type of syringe that can be used to administer Diastat gel. Acudial syringes have a display window that shows the dose they contain. They also have a green “ready” band that shows when the syringe is ready to administer a dose.

For the rest of this article, “Diastat” will be used to refer to the drug. “Acudial” will refer to the special syringe that can be used to administer the drug.

Diastat belongs to a group of medications called benzodiazepines. It works to slow or stop symptoms of a refractory seizure. The drug is available in the following strengths:

  • 2.5 milligrams (mg)
  • 5 mg
  • 7.5 mg
  • 10 mg
  • 12.5 mg
  • 15 mg
  • 17.5 mg
  • 20 mg

Is Diastat a controlled substance?

Yes. Diastat is a Schedule IV substance, which means it can cause dependence or has potential for misuse. With dependence, your body needs the drug in order for you to feel normal. Dependence can lead to misuse, which refers to using a drug for nonmedical reasons, or in a way that’s not approved.

To minimize these risks, there are additional rules for how controlled substances such as Diastat are prescribed and dispensed. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial withdrawal and dependence” section below.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Diastat, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section below.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial are brand-name drugs that contain the active ingredient diazepam. This active ingredient is also available as a generic medication. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name drug.

The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

The generic form of Diastat is what’s known as an authorized generic. An authorized generic refers to an FDA-approved brand-name drug that’s marketed without using the brand name. Instead, it’s sold under the generic name, with a private label. But it’s still an exact copy of the active ingredient in Diastat.

If you’re interested in using the generic form of Diastat, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if it comes in forms and strengths that can be used for your condition.

The Diastat and Diastat Acudial dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity and frequency of seizures you’re using Diastat to treat
  • your age and bodyweight in kilograms (kg)
  • other medical conditions you may have

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to use the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Diastat comes as a gel inside prefilled syringes. The syringes have a special molded tip that is used to give the medication rectally (no needle is used).

“Acudial” refers to a special type of syringe that can be used to administer Diastat gel. Acudial syringes have a display window that shows the dose they contain. They also have a green “ready” band that shows when the syringe is ready to administer a dose.

Diastat is available in the following strengths:

  • 2.5 milligrams (mg)
  • 5 mg
  • 7.5 mg
  • 10 mg
  • 12.5 mg
  • 15 mg
  • 17.5 mg
  • 20 mg

Diastat Acudial comes in two syringe sizes:

  • 10 mg, with a 4.4-cm tip
  • 20 mg, with a 6-cm tip

The 10-mg syringe is used to administer doses of 5 mg and 10 mg. And the 20-mg syringe is used to administer doses of 12.5 mg to 20 mg.

The 2.5-mg dose of Diastat isn’t available in the Acudial delivery system. This dose comes in packs of two syringes.

Dosage for seizures

Diastat is used as needed, to treat refractory seizures.* It can be used to treat up to 5 seizure episodes a month, and shouldn’t be used to treat more than one seizure episode in a 5-day period.

Diastat dosage is based on age and body weight in kilograms (kg). One kg equals about 2.2 pounds.

Below is the dosing chart for Diastat based on age and body weight:

AgeRecommended weight-based dose of Diastat
2 to 5 years0.5 mg/kg
6 to 11 years0.3 mg/kg
12 years and older0.2 mg/kg

Since Diastat only comes in certain strengths, your doctor will calculate your dose and then round up to the nearest strength to prescribe your dosage.

Below is weight range dosing information for Diastat, based on age and weight in kilograms:

  • For a 2- to 5-year-old child:
    • if the child weighs 6 to 10 kg, their dose is 5 mg
    • if the child weighs 11 to 15 kg, their dose is 7.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 16 to 20 kg, their dose is 10 mg
    • if the child weighs 21 to 25 kg, their dose is 12.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 26 to 30 kg, their dose is 15 mg
    • if the child weighs 31 to 35 kg, their dose is 17.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 36 to 44 kg, their dose is 20 mg
  • For a 6- to 11-year-old child:
    • if the child weighs 10 to 16 kg, their dose is 5 mg
    • if the child weighs 17 to 25 kg, their dose is 7.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 26 to 33 kg, their dose is 10 mg
    • if the child weighs 34 to 41 kg, their dose is 12.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 42 to 50 kg, their dose is 15 mg
    • if the child weighs 51 to 58 kg, their dose is 17.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 59 to 74 kg, their dose is 20 mg
  • For a child 12 years and older:
    • if the child weighs 14 to 25 kg, their dose is 5 mg
    • if the child weighs 26 to 37 kg, their dose is 7.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 38 to 50 kg, their dose is 10 mg
    • if the child weighs 51 to 62 kg, their dose is 12.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 63 to 75 kg, their dose is 15 mg
    • if the child weighs 76 to 87 kg, their dose is 17.5 mg
    • if the child weighs 88 to 111 kg, their dose is 20 mg

* Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section below.

Children’s dosage

The dosage of Diastat for children is calculated the same way as the dosage for adults. The drug is used as needed to treat refractory seizures, and the dose is based on age and weight in kilograms (kg). See “Dosage for seizures” just above for details, including recommended children’s dosages.

What if I miss a dose?

Since Diastat is used only as needed to treat refractory seizures, you can’t “miss” a dose of the drug. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about when to use Diastat.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Diastat is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Diastat is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use the drug long term.

However, it’s important to note that Diastat isn’t recommended for daily use. It should only be used as needed to treat refractory seizures. Diastat can be used to treat up to 5 seizure episodes a month. And, it shouldn’t be used to treat more than one seizure episode in a 5-day period.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Diastat and Diastat Acudial to treat certain conditions. These drugs may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures

Diastat is used as needed to treat seizures caused by refractory epilepsy. This refers to epilepsy that causes seizures despite treatment with anti-epileptic medications. These refractory seizures may be referred to as “breakthrough seizures” or “cluster seizures.”

For this use, Diastat can be given to people who are already following a stable dosage of at least one anti-epileptic drug and need additional seizure control. The drug works to slow or stop symptoms of a refractory seizure.

Your brain uses electrical signals to communicate with itself and with the rest of your body. During a seizure, a person experiences a surge of electrical activity in the brain.

Seizures may affect the entire brain, or just one area. And different types of seizures can cause different symptoms in different people. Some seizures may cause staring. Other seizures may cause falling, shaking, or loss of awareness of what’s happening around you. Seizures typically last a few seconds to a few minutes.

A person is considered to have epilepsy if they’ve had two or more seizures in their lifetime.

Effectiveness for seizures

Clinical studies have found Diastat to be effective for stopping or reducing seizure symptoms when given at the start of a seizure episode. The drug also helped prevent seizures for several hours after being administered.

Additionally, the Epilepsy Foundation recommends Diastat as an as-needed treatment for refractory epilepsy in people who need additional seizure control.

To see how Diastat performed in clinical studies, please see the drug’s prescribing information.

Limitations of use

Diastat contains the active ingredient diazepam, and is administered rectally. In people with a type of epilepsy called petit mal status (or petit mal variant status), intravenous* diazepam has been shown to cause status epilepticus. This is a very severe type of seizure.

If you have petit mal status epilepsy or petit mal variant status epilepsy, make sure your doctor knows this before you begin Diastat treatment. They may have you try a medication other than Diastat for your refractory seizures.

* Intravenous means the drug is given directly into a vein.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial and children

Diastat is approved to treat seizures in children ages 2 years and older with refractory seizures, as well as adults. For more information on how the drug performed in clinical studies in this age group, see Diastat’s prescribing information.

Diastat isn’t meant to be used by itself for treating seizures caused by refractory epilepsy.* Instead, Diastat is approved as an add-on therapy. This means it should be used in addition to at least one other anti-epileptic drug. This is because Diastat is only used as needed to treat seizures. It shouldn’t be used every day to control seizures.

Examples of other anti-epileptic drugs that may be taken while you’re also using Diastat include:

If you have questions about how other anti-epileptic drugs are used with Diastat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section above.

You should take Diastat and Diastat Acudial according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Diastat comes as a gel inside prefilled syringes that are used to give the medication rectally. The syringes have a special molded tip for application. No needle is used to give the drug.

It’s important to note that Diastat isn’t meant for self-administration. You’ll need a caregiver or other person to administer the dose for you.

Diastat’s manufacturer has provided step-by-step instructions for use on the drug’s website.

Note: If you’re using Diastat Acudial, check that each syringe displays your correct dose and has the green “ready” band visible when you pick the drug up from the pharmacy.

When to give for seizures

Diastat is only given as needed to treat refractory seizures.* It isn’t recommended for daily use. Your doctor will give you specific instructions about when to administer a dose of Diastat.

Diastat can be used to treat up to 5 seizure episodes a month. It shouldn’t be used to treat more than one seizure episode in a 5-day period. If you or your child are having more seizures than this, talk with your doctor about other treatment options for controlling your seizures.

* Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section above.

Taking Diastat and Diastat Acudial with food

Diastat is only used when a person is actively experiencing a seizure. Diastat may be given no matter how recently the person has eaten.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Diastat. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Diastat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Diastat, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Diastat that have been reported include:

  • ataxia (problems with muscle coordination)
  • abdominal (belly) pain
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • euphoria (a feeling of intense excitement or happiness)
  • headache
  • rhinitis (inflammation or swelling in your nose)
  • low blood pressure
  • nervousness
  • rash
  • somnolence (sleepiness)

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Diastat and Diastat Acudial. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view the drug’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Diastat aren’t common, but they can occur. The list below includes serious side effects that have been reported with this drug.

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

In addition to the serious side effects listed above, Diastat also has a boxed warning regarding certain side effects that may be worsened when Diastat is used with certain medications. For more information, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial interactions” section below.

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effects in children

Diastat is approved for use in adults, as well as children ages 2 years and older. In clinical studies, side effects in children who received Diastat were similar to those seen in adults.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Sleepiness

Somnolence (sleepiness) was the most common side effect reported in clinical studies of Diastat. Among people who stopped taking Diastat because of a side effect, sleepiness was most often reported as the reason for stopping the drug.

Sleepiness was also reported as a side effect in people who received a placebo* in these studies. But, sleepiness was more likely to be reported in people using Diastat compared with people using a placebo.

You should avoid activities that could be dangerous to do while you’re sleepy, until you know how your body responds to Diastat. This includes driving. Make sure to talk with your doctor about your safety when driving or doing potentially dangerous activities that require your attention.

To find out how often sleepiness occurred in clinical studies, see Diastat’s prescribing information. And, if you have additional questions about sleepiness while using Diastat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: Sleepiness along with other symptoms can also be a sign of central nervous system depression. See the “Central nervous system depression” section directly below.

* A placebo is a treatment with no active drug.

Central nervous system depression

Central nervous system (CNS) depression can occur with Diastat use. With CNS depression, your body’s neurological (brain and spinal cord) functions slow down. This can cause serious side effects, such as seizures, trouble breathing, or coma. CNS depression can even be fatal.

Symptoms can include:

  • confusion
  • problems with coordination
  • slowed or slurred speech
  • sleepiness
  • slowed breathing

Symptoms of CNS depression were reported by people taking Diastat in clinical studies. Some symptoms (such as sleepiness) were more common compared to others (such as slowed breathing).

CNS depression is more likely to occur if Diastat is misused* or used with other CNS depressants.† To lower your risk for this side effect:

  • Talk with your doctor about any other medications you’re taking before you start Diastat. Your doctor can determine if any of your current medications are CNS depressants. They can also discuss your risk for CNS depression.
  • You should also avoid activities that could be dangerous to do while you’re sleepy, until you know how your body responds to Diastat. This includes driving. Waiting until you know how Diastat affects your body helps make sure you don’t develop CNS depression while doing an activity that requires your attention. While taking Diastat, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your safety when driving or doing potentially dangerous activities.

If you have questions about CNS depression and Diastat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Drug misuse refers to using a drug for nonmedical reasons, or in a way that’s not approved.
† For examples of medications that may cause CNS depression if taken with Diastat, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial interactions” section below.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Diastat. It isn’t known how often this occurred in clinical studies.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, redness, or discoloration in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Diastat, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

As with all medications, the cost of Diastat and Diastat Acudial can vary. To find current prices for Diastat in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Before approving coverage for Diastat, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Diastat, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Diastat, help may be available.

Medicine Assistance Tool is a website that lists programs that may help lower the cost of these drugs. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit their website.

Generic version

Diastat is a brand-name drug that contains the active ingredient diazepam. This active ingredient is also available in generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active ingredient in a brand-name medication.

The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

The generic form of Diastat is what’s known as an authorized generic. An authorized generic refers to an FDA-approved brand-name drug that’s marketed without using the brand name. Instead, it’s sold under the generic name, with a private label. But, it’s an exact copy of the active drug in the brand-name version.

If you’re interested in using the generic form of Diastat, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if it comes in forms and strengths that can be used for your condition.

Talk with your doctor before drinking alcohol while taking Diastat or Diastat Acudial.

The active ingredient in Diastat, diazepam, can interact with alcohol. Drinking alcohol and taking Diastat can increase your risk for certain side effects, including central nervous system (CNS) depression. CNS depression is a rare but serious side effect that results when your body’s neurological (brain and spinal cord) functions slow down. Symptoms can include dizziness and sleepiness.

Diastat is used as needed to treat refractory seizures.* It isn’t meant to be used every day. In fact, the drug shouldn’t be used to treat more than one seizure episode every 5 days. It may be safe for you to drink alcohol in moderation on days you haven’t used Diastat. But, it’s important to talk with your doctor about whether this is safe for you.

If you drink alcohol, discuss with your doctor how much, if any, is safe for you to drink while taking Diastat.

* Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section above.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial and other medications

Below are lists of medications that can interact with Diastat. This article does not contain all drugs that may interact with Diastat.

Before taking Diastat, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of drugs that could cause an interaction with Diastat include:

  • Antidepressants, barbiturates, MAO inhibitors, and phenothiazines. Each of these types of medication may increase your risk for central nervous system (CNS) depression if taken with Diastat. With CNS depression, your body’s neurological (brain and spinal cord) functions slow down. This can cause serious side effects.
    • Barbiturates, such as phenobarbital, are used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping) and seizures.
    • MAO inhibitors are sometimes used to treat depression. Examples include isocarboxazid (Marplan) and phenelzine (Nardil).
    • Phenothiazines are used to treat certain mental health conditions. Examples of phenothiazines include chlorpromazine and fluphenazine.
  • Valproate, which is an anti-epileptic drug. It may interact with diazepam to cause CNS depression or make it worse.
  • CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 inhibitors. CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 are enzymes (a type of protein) that help your body break down drugs like Diastat. When this process is inhibited (slowed down), you have an increased risk for side effects from Diastat. Examples of these drugs include:
    • cimetidine
  • CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 inducers. These medications induce (speed up) the activity of the CYP2C19 or CYP3A4 enzymes. This can lower the amount of Diastat in your body, which can make the drug less effective. Examples of these drugs include:
    • rifampin
    • phenobarbital

If you have questions about potential interactions with Diastat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial with opioids or benzodiazepines

Diastat and Diastat Acudial have a boxed warning for use with opioids or benzodiazepines. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Diastat belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Using Diastat while also taking an opioid or other benzodiazepine medication may cause dangerous side effects. These can include slowed breathing, trouble breathing, severe drowsiness, coma, and even death.

You should only take benzodiazepines or opioids with Diastat if no other treatments are available that will work for your condition.

Examples of these medications include:

If your doctor determines that you must take a benzodiazepine or opioid with Diastat, your doctor will monitor you very closely. They’ll also limit your dosage to the lowest possible necessary to treat your condition. And, your doctor will monitor for opportunities to stop the benzodiazepine or opioid medication, or change Diastat to another medication.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial and herbs and supplements

No herbs or supplements have been specifically reported to interact with Diastat. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Diastat.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial and foods

No foods have been specifically reported to interact with Diastat. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Diastat, talk with your doctor.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial are approved to treat seizures caused by refractory* epilepsy in people ages 2 years and older.

Diastat works to slow or stop symptoms of a refractory seizure. It can also prevent more seizures from happening in the hours after a refractory seizure.

During a seizure, you experience a surge of electrical activity in your brain, and your brain cells send signals much faster than usual. It isn’t known exactly how Diastat works, but it may slow down how quickly your brain can send certain electrical signals.

* Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section above.

How long does it take to work?

Diastat begins working as soon as a dose is administered. In clinical studies, the drug was shown to prevent seizures for several hours when used at the start of a seizure episode.

If you have additional questions about how Diastat works or how quickly it works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Diastat should only be used during pregnancy if you and your doctor decide the benefits outweigh the risks. This is because the active ingredient in Diastat, diazepam, may cause side effects in a fetus. These side effects may include trouble breathing and trouble feeding.

Animal studies also showed that diazepam caused birth defects, including cleft palate, when it was given to pregnant females. It’s important to note that animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in people.

Before using Diastat, talk with your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. And, if you become pregnant while using Diastat, be sure to notify your doctor right away. They’ll work with you to determine the safest, most effective treatment for your condition during your pregnancy.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial should only be used during pregnancy if you and your doctor decide the benefits outweigh the risks. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Diastat.

For more information about using Diastat during pregnancy, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial and pregnancy” section above.

The active ingredient in Diastat and Diastat Acudial, diazepam, is known to pass into human breast milk. This can cause serious side effects in a breastfed child.

Because Diastat is only used as needed, there are certain times where breastfeeding may or may not be safe, depending on when you received your last dose of the drug. For this reason, you should avoid breastfeeding while using Diastat, unless your doctor has given you specific instructions on when you should and shouldn’t breastfeed, based on your dosage.

If you have additional questions about breastfeeding and Diastat, talk with your doctor. They can help determine a treatment that’s effective for you and safe for you and your child.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Diastat and Diastat Acudial.

Should I use Diastat or Diastat Acudial every day?

No, you shouldn’t use Diastat every day. The manufacturer of the drug specifically recommends against this.

Diastat is meant to be used only when needed when symptoms of a refractory seizure* are identified. Using the drug every day can actually increase the frequency or severity of seizures you experience.

Diastat can be used to treat up to 5 seizure episodes a month. And, it shouldn’t be used to treat more than one seizure episode in a 5-day period.

If you or your child are having more seizures than this, or having trouble controlling seizures while taking Diastat, talk with your doctor. They may decide to try a treatment other than Diastat.

* Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section above.

Can I take Diastat or Diastat Acudial with me while I’m traveling?

Yes, it’s safe to take Diastat with you while traveling, as long as the medication is stored at the proper temperature. Diastat should be stored at 77° F (25° C). For short periods of time, such as when traveling, it may be stored between 59° F to 86° F (15° C to 30° C).

The Epilepsy Foundation has recommendations on managing anti-epileptic medications while traveling. One tip they recommend is to talk with your doctor or other healthcare provider about how to use Diastat while traveling.

If you have additional questions about traveling with Diastat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Can I use Diastat or Diastat Acudial if I have glaucoma?

It depends on the type of glaucoma you have.

Diastat may be used in people with open-angle glaucoma who are receiving treatment for this condition. However, Diastat should not be used by people with acute narrow-angle glaucoma. This is also known as acute closed-angle glaucoma.

With this condition, fluid can’t drain out of your eye, and pressure inside your eye rapidly increases. An episode of acute closed-angle glaucoma is a medical emergency. It may cause the following symptoms:

  • blurry vision
  • seeing bright halos around objects
  • redness, tenderness, or hardness to the eyes
  • severe, sudden eye pain
  • nausea and vomiting

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) or visit an emergency room as soon as possible.

If you have additional questions about glaucoma and using Diastat, talk with your doctor. They can help recommend the safest, most effective treatment for your seizures that takes into account any other medical conditions you may have.

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warning: Use with opioids or benzodiazepines

This drug has a boxed warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Using Diastat or Diastat Acudial while also taking opioid or benzodiazepine medications may cause dangerous side effects. These effects can include slowed breathing, trouble breathing, severe drowsiness, coma, and even death. You should only take benzodiazepines or opioids with Diastat or Diastat Acudial if no other treatments are available that will work for your condition.

See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial interactions” section above for more information.

Other precautions

Before taking Diastat, talk with your doctor about your health history. Diastat may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Acute narrow-angle glaucoma. Diastat should not be used by people with acute narrow angle glaucoma. This is also known as acute closed-angle glaucoma. Acute closed-angle glaucoma is a medical emergency. If you have glaucoma, talk with your doctor before you use Diastat. They can help determine if Diastat is safe to use with your glaucoma. Or, they may decide to try a different medication for your condition.
  • Drug or alcohol misuse. The active ingredient in Diastat, diazepam, is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means it can cause dependence, and has the potential to be misused (see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial withdrawal and dependence” section below). If you have a history of drug or alcohol misuse, your doctor may monitor you closely while taking Diastat. Or, they may decide to try a different medication to treat your seizures.
  • Kidney or liver problems. People with existing kidney or liver problems, such as chronic kidney disease or alcoholic liver disease, may be at higher risk for side effects from taking Diastat. Make sure you tell your doctor about any history of kidney or liver problems before you begin treatment with Diastat. They may decide to try a different medication for your condition. Or, they may choose to monitor you closely while taking Diastat.
  • Breathing problems. Diastat’s active ingredient, diazepam, can cause slowed breathing or trouble breathing as a side effect. People with existing breathing problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may be at higher risk for this side effect. Be sure your doctor is aware of any breathing problems you have before using Diastat. They may decide to try a different medication for your condition. Or, they may monitor you closely while you’re using Diastat.
  • Older persons. People ages 65 years and older may be at higher risk for side effects from Diastat, such as sleepiness or problems with coordination. This is because as you age, your body begins to handle certain medications differently. If you’re ages 65 years or older, your doctor may monitor you more closely than usual for certain side effects during your Diastat treatment.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Diastat or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t use Diastat. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. Diastat should only be used during pregnancy if you and your doctor decide the benefits outweigh the risks. For more information, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. You shouldn’t use Diastat while breastfeeding unless your doctor specifically says it is safe for you to do so. For more information, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Diastat, see the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial side effects” section above.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Diastat and Diastat Acudial can lead to serious side effects. Do not use more Diastat than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve used too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

The active ingredient in Diastat and Diastat Acudial, diazepam, is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means it can cause dependence, and has the potential to be misused.

With dependence, your body needs the drug in order for you to feel normal. Being dependent on a medication isn’t the same as addiction. Dependence often occurs because your body develops a high tolerance to the medication. Dependence can lead to misuse, which refers to using a drug for non-medical reasons, or in a way that’s not approved.

With drug withdrawal, you experience symptoms when you stop taking a drug. People who take diazepam every day and suddenly stop may experience symptoms such as:

  • abdominal (belly) cramps
  • muscle cramps
  • convulsions (muscle movements you can’t control)
  • sweating
  • tremors (uncontrolled shaking)

Because diazepam can cause dependence, Diastat should only be used to treat up to 5 seizure episodes a month. And, it shouldn’t be used to treat more than one seizure episode in a 5-day period.

If you have a history of drug or alcohol misuse, your doctor may monitor you closely while you’re using Diastat. Or, they may decide to try a different medication to treat your refractory* seizures.

If you’re taking Diastat, it’s important to only use the drug as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t stop using Diastat without first talking with your doctor. They can help you stop the medication safely and minimize your risk for withdrawal symptoms.

* Refractory means you’re still experiencing seizures even after taking at least two anti-epileptic medications. See the “Diastat and Diastat Acudial for seizures” section above.

When you get Diastat and Diastat Acudial from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains effective can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Diastat and Diastat Acudial syringes should be stored at room temperature, no more than 77°F (25°C), in a tightly sealed container away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

For short periods of time, such as when traveling, you may temporarily store Diastat at temperatures of 59 to 86°F (15 to 30°C). As soon as possible, you should return the medication to room temperature.

Disposal

If you no longer need to use Diastat and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.