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Midazolam is a medication primarily used as a sedative, anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), and muscle relaxant. While it can be effective in certain medical situations, it is not without risks. Here are some of the potential risks associated with taking Midazolam:

  • Sedation and Drowsiness: Midazolam is a potent sedative, and one of its primary effects is to induce drowsiness and sleepiness. This can impair a person’s ability to perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Respiratory Depression: Midazolam can suppress the respiratory system, leading to slowed or shallow breathing. This risk is particularly significant when Midazolam is used in high doses or in combination with other sedative medications.
  • Memory Impairment: Midazolam can cause anterograde amnesia, which means that individuals may have difficulty remembering events that occurred while they were under the influence of the drug.
  • Dependency and Withdrawal: Prolonged or excessive use of Midazolam can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Abrupt discontinuation can result in withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.
  • Drug Interactions: Midazolam can interact with other medications, especially those that also depress the central nervous system, such as opioids and alcohol. These interactions can intensify sedation and increase the risk of respiratory depression.
  • Paradoxical Reactions: In some cases, Midazolam can lead to paradoxical reactions, where individuals become more agitated, anxious, or aggressive instead of sedated.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some people may experience allergic reactions to Midazolam, which can manifest as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Tolerance: With prolonged use, individuals may develop tolerance to Midazolam, requiring higher doses to achieve the same level of sedation. This can increase the risk of overdose and other adverse effects.
  • Overdose: Taking too much Midazolam can lead to overdose, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms of overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, slowed or stopped breathing, and loss of consciousness.

It’s crucial to use Midazolam under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional who can assess the risks and benefits for a specific medical condition. The dosage and duration of use should be carefully monitored to minimize potential risks, and patients should be educated about the effects and potential side effects of the medication. Additionally, Midazolam should never be used recreationally or without a prescription.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Midazolam is prescribed for various medical purposes, primarily for its sedative, anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), and muscle relaxant properties. Here are some common medical uses of Midazolam:

  • Anesthesia: Midazolam is often administered before surgery or medical procedures to induce sedation and reduce anxiety in patients. It can also enhance the effects of other anesthetic agents.
  • Sedation: Midazolam is used to sedate patients in various medical settings, such as intensive care units (ICUs) or during certain diagnostic procedures like endoscopies.
  • Seizures: It may be used to treat prolonged or severe seizures, especially in emergency situations, as it has anticonvulsant properties.
  • Sleep Disorders: Midazolam can be prescribed on a short-term basis to treat severe insomnia or sleep disturbances that have not responded to other treatments.
  • Agitation and Anxiety: It can be used to manage acute agitation, anxiety, or panic attacks in certain clinical situations.
  • Muscle Relaxation: Midazolam may be used to relax muscles in specific medical procedures or for conditions involving muscle spasms.

How should this medicine be used?

Here are some general guidelines for the use of Midazolam:

  • Dosage: The dosage is determined by the healthcare provider and should be strictly followed. Do not exceed the prescribed dose.
  • Administration: Follow the healthcare provider’s instructions on how to take Midazolam. It is essential to administer it as directed, whether orally, intravenously, or intramuscularly.
  • Monitored Midazolam: Patients receiving Midazolam should be closely monitored, especially when used in critical care settings, to ensure the desired effects are achieved without adverse reactions.
  • Duration: Midazolam is typically prescribed for short-term use due to the risk of tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. Long-term use should be avoided unless deemed necessary by a healthcare professional.
  • Caution with Alcohol and Other Medications: Avoid alcohol and inform your healthcare provider about any other medications or substances you are taking, as interactions can occur.
  • Withdrawal: If Midazolam has been used regularly for an extended period, it should not be stopped abruptly. Tapering the dose under medical supervision may be necessary to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

It is crucial to use Midazolam only as prescribed by a qualified healthcare provider and to communicate any concerns or side effects promptly. Misuse or self-administration of Midazolam can be dangerous and should be avoided.

Other uses for this medicine

In some cases, midazolam may be considered for off-label use, meaning it’s used for conditions or purposes not approved by regulatory agencies like the FDA. These uses may include:

  • Treatment of agitation: It may be used to calm agitated patients in medical settings, particularly those with certain mental health conditions.
  • Muscle relaxant: Midazolam can be used as a muscle relaxant in certain medical situations.
  • Preventing nausea and vomiting: It can be given to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with some medical procedures or chemotherapy.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions should be taken when using Midazolam, and it should only be used under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. Here are some important precautions to consider:

  • Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider of your complete medical history, including any allergies, prior adverse reactions to medications, or pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Midazolam should be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding only when clearly needed, as it may pose risks to the developing fetus or nursing infant.
  • Elderly Patients: Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of Midazolam and are at higher risk for side effects. Lower doses may be required.
  • Respiratory Conditions: Caution is needed when using Midazolam in individuals with respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it can depress breathing.
  • Alcohol and Other Substances: Avoid alcohol and inform your healthcare provider about any other medications or substances you are taking, as they can interact with Midazolam.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Midazolam can cause drowsiness and impair coordination, making it unsafe to drive or operate heavy machinery while under its influence.
  • Tolerance and Dependence: Prolonged use of Midazolam can lead to tolerance and dependence. It should not be taken for extended periods without a clear medical necessity.
  • Withdrawal: If you have been using Midazolam regularly, consult your healthcare provider before discontinuing the medication, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.
  • Medical Monitoring: Patients receiving Midazolam, especially in hospital settings, are usually closely monitored to ensure safety and efficacy.
  • Allergic Reactions: Be aware of any signs of allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, and seek immediate medical attention if they occur.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and ask any questions or express concerns you may have about the use of Midazolam. It’s crucial to use this medication only as directed and avoid self-medication or misuse.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are generally no specific dietary restrictions associated with midazolam. However, it’s essential to take it as directed by your healthcare provider, typically with water or as instructed. Avoid consuming large, heavy meals immediately before taking midazolam, as this can affect its absorption and onset of action.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Midazolam, follow these general guidelines:

  • Timing: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do Not Double Dose: Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one, as this can increase the risk of side effects or overdose.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you have any concerns about missing a dose or if you are unsure about what to do, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Midazolam, like many medications, can cause side effects. The severity and occurrence of these side effects can vary from person to person. Common side effects of Midazolam may include:

  • Drowsiness: One of the most common side effects of Midazolam is drowsiness or sedation. This can impair your ability to perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.
  • Confusion: Some individuals may experience confusion or disorientation while taking Midazolam.
  • Memory Impairment: Midazolam can cause anterograde amnesia, making it difficult for you to remember events that occur while you are under its influence.
  • Slurred Speech: Speech difficulties, including slurred speech, can occur as a side effect.
  • Dizziness: Midazolam may cause dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Headache: Headaches can occasionally be a side effect of this medication.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some people may experience nausea or vomiting.
  • Respiratory Depression: In high doses or when used inappropriately, Midazolam can depress the respiratory system, leading to slowed or shallow breathing.
  • Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure): Midazolam can cause a drop in blood pressure, which may lead to feelings of lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, allergic reactions to Midazolam can occur and may include symptoms such as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Paradoxical Reactions: In some cases, individuals may experience paradoxical reactions to Midazolam, where they become more agitated, anxious, or aggressive instead of sedated.
  • Tolerance and Dependence: With prolonged use, tolerance to Midazolam can develop, requiring higher doses to achieve the same level of sedation. This can increase the risk of dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Abruptly discontinuing Midazolam after long-term use can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.

It’s essential to take Midazolam exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider and to report any side effects or adverse reactions promptly. If you experience severe or concerning side effects, contact your healthcare provider or seek immediate medical attention. Additionally, discuss any concerns you have about the medication with your healthcare provider to ensure its safe and effective use.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Keep in a Secure Location: Store Midazolam in a secure location that is out of the reach of children and pets. It should be stored away from unauthorized access.
  • Room Temperature: Midazolam should typically be stored at room temperature (between 68°F to 77°F or 20°C to 25°C) in a dry place. Check the specific storage instructions on the medication’s packaging or consult your pharmacist.
  • Protect from Light: Some forms of Midazolam may be sensitive to light. If so, store it in its original packaging or a container that protects it from exposure to light.
  • Do Not Freeze: Avoid freezing Midazolam.
  • Do Not Store in the Bathroom: The bathroom can be humid, which may affect the medication’s stability. It’s generally not recommended to store medications in the bathroom.
  • Follow Expiration Dates: Check the expiration date on the medication label and do not use Midazolam if it has expired.


  • Dispose of Unused Medication: If you have leftover Midazolam that is no longer needed or has expired, it’s essential to dispose of it properly to prevent misuse or accidental ingestion. Do not flush it down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so.
  • Take-Back Programs: Some pharmacies or healthcare facilities may have take-back programs or instructions for the safe disposal of unused medications. You can inquire about these options in your area.
  • Medication Disposal Bags: In some regions, you may find special medication disposal bags or pouches designed to safely deactivate and dispose of medications. These can be used for controlled disposal at home.

In case of emergency/overdose

If you suspect an overdose or experience severe adverse effects of Midazolam, seek immediate medical attention or call emergency services. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Symptoms: Describe the symptoms you or the affected person is experiencing.
  • Amount Taken: If known, provide information about the amount of Midazolam ingested.
  • Medical History: Share any relevant medical history or pre-existing conditions.
  • Medication Information: Provide details about any other medications or substances that may have been taken in combination with Midazolam.

What other information should I know

  • Follow Healthcare Provider’s Instructions: Take Midazolam exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not adjust the dosage or stop taking it without consulting them.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Do not consume alcohol while taking Midazolam, as it can increase the sedative effects and potential risks.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Midazolam can impair coordination and alertness. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while under its influence.
  • Medical Alert Bracelet: If you are prescribed Midazolam for a medical condition, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet to inform healthcare providers of your medication in case of emergencies.
  • Regular Monitoring: If you are using Midazolam for a medical condition, your healthcare provider may need to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as necessary.
  • Consult with Your Pharmacist: Your pharmacist can provide additional information about Midazolam, including potential drug interactions and side effects specific to your medication.

Always keep medications in a safe and responsible manner to ensure they are used appropriately and to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse. If you have any questions or concerns about Midazolam, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

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