Diazepam (Rectal)

Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

Diazepam (rectal) is usually used in the emergency treatment of seizures (fits), including febrile (fever associated) seizures in children. 

Most seizures are brief and stop spontaneously within 5 minutes. If a seizure does not stop by itself within 10 to 15 minutes, it is considered a medical emergency. Seizures lasting longer than 30 minutes may lead to brain and body injury. 

How should I use this medication?

Use as directed by your doctor or follow the instructions in your seizure management plan. 

Step 1: Tear open the foil pack.

Step 2: Twist and remove the cap from the nozzle of the diazepam (rectal) tube.

Step 3: Lay the patient on the stomach or side with a cushion under the hip.

Step 4: If the dose is half a tube, squirt out half of the tube’s content.

Step 5: With the patient lying on his or her side, separate the buttocks.

Step 6: Insert the nozzle into the anus, but only to the first mark on the tube for children 1 to 3 years old.


Step 7: Always keep the tube angled with nozzle downwards during administration. 
Step 8: Squeeze the tube to empty the content of the tube (by pressing with your thumb and index finger).

Step 9: Keep the tube pressed and remove the tube from the anus at the same time to prevent the medication from being sucked back into the tube. 

Step 10: Hold the buttocks together for 3 to 4 minutes to prevent leakage. 

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

Diazepam (rectal) is usually used on a as needed basis to stop a seizure episode. 

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if you have the following medical conditions before starting on diazepam (rectal):

  • Drug allergies
  • Acute narrow-angle glaucoma (an eye condition resulting from high pressure in the eye)
  • Myasthenia gravis (an immune condition affecting the nerves and muscles)
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Respiratory problems

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

Like all medicines, this medication may cause some possible side effects but not everyone experiences them. Consult your healthcare professional if any of the side effects lasts more than a few days or become severe and bothersome.

The common side effects of rectal diazepam include:

  • Drowsiness
    • Avoid driving or engaging in activities (such as cycling or swimming) that requires concentration
  • Skin irritation or rash

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face / eyes/ lips / tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

If seizures persist despite use of rectal diazepam, seek medical attention immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Use of diazepam (rectal) with opioids (a group of strong painkillers like morphine and fentanyl) may result in excessive drowsiness, breathing difficulties and in severe cases, coma or death. 

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. It will be good to keep it near patient with epilepsy.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin.






If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Aug 2021






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