The Hemodynamic and Respiratory Effects of Diazepam (Valium®)

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Diazepam, 5–10 rag, was given intravenously to treat anxiety occurring during cardiac catheterization in 15 patients. Anxiety was effectively relieved in 11 patients. Hemodynamic and ventilatory parameters were assessed before, and ten and 30 minutes after diazepam. The cardiac index decreased significantly in only three patients, each of whom had a control cardiac index in the high-normal range. No significant changes occurred in patients whose control cardiac indexes were below normal. Systolic blood pressure decreased by more than 10 mm Hg in eight patients. Pulmonary arterial pressure, heart rate, stroke volume and pulmonary and systemic resistance did not change significantly. Hypoventilation occurred in all patients. Ten minutes after diazepam minute ventilation had decreased by 28 per cent and tidal volume by 23 per cent. Paco2 increased by 5 mm Hg and Pao2 decreased by 10 mm Hg. The observed changes in blood pressure and ventilation were without clinical correlates and did not require therapy.

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