Midazolam – How is it Used and its Side Effects

Last Updated: February 23, 2021

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

What Midazolam Is

First of all, Midazolam belongs to a class of benzodiazepines. In addition, its component works in the brain, particularly the central nervous system. As a result, the effect will result in sleepiness, relaxed muscles, and lessen the signs of anxiety. Additionally, This drug may also lead to temporary memory loss.

Midazolam Uses

Presently, they prescribe the drug as anesthesia to sedate patients. It includes those about to undergo medical procedures like surgery. Additionally, doctors also give this drug to treat other conditions like treatment for anxiety under strict supervision. It is because it could cause serious breathing problems. Moreover, when these breathing problems affect a patient, this could lead to brain damage or worst death.

Midazolam Risk Groups

  • Allergic reactions to the drug
  • Patients with acute narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Individuals diagnosed with psychosis
  • Patients with liver disease
  • Anyone showing abnormal vital signs due to alcohol intoxication
  • Patients taking medications such as delavirdine, efavirenz, ritonavir (HIV protease inhibitor) or sodium oxybate (GHB)

Before Taking Midazolam

No doubt, before taking it, a patient must inform their medical provider about any of the following medical conditions:

  • Women who are pregnant, planning to conceive, or breastfeeding
  • Taking other medication, health or dietary supplements
  • Are prone to allergy with drugs, food, and substances
  • Currently experiencing breathing problems like COPD and Open-angle
  • Diagnosed with heart, liver or kidney problems
  • Have acquired blood disease porphyria
  • Experiencing depression
  • A history of drug or substance abuse or dependence
  • Have just taken alcohol

WMidazolam Interactions

Of course, a patient must notify the doctor or healthcare professional if taking any of these medicines:

  • Carbamazepine, rifampin, St. John’s wort
  • Azole antifungals (itraconazole)
  • Barbiturates (Phenobarbital)
  • Clozapine
  • Delavirdine
  • Diltiazem
  • Disulfiram
  • Efavirenz
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Ritonavir (HIV protease inhibitor)
  • Ketolides (telithromycin)
  • Macrolides (erythromycin)
  • Narcotic pain drugs (codeine)
  • Nefazodone
  • Omeprazole
  • Sodium oxybate (GHB)
  • Valproic acid
  • Verapamil

Furthermore, these medicines may cause adverse side effects leading to low blood pressure, respiratory problems, and intense sedation.

Midazolam Medical Use

MidazolamIf a doctor prescribed Midazolam, the patient must follow the instruction on doses found on the label strictly. In addition, one should also apply these best practices when under this prescription. Firstly, they usually administer the drug via injection. Above all, it must happen at a medical clinic or hospital. However, if an individual finds Midazolam with particles or form of discoloration, cracked or damaged vial, they should not use it. Discard it properly. In addition, store this medicine including needles or syringe away from children and pets. No doubt, never reuse needles or syringes. One should employ proper disposal after use. In any case, if a patient misses a dose, they must call a doctor immediately. Of course, don’t hesitate to ask questions or anything that bothers one about the use of this drug.

Safety Information About Midazolam

Firstly, This medicine could cause drowsiness. Therefore, Individuals taking the drug must not drive and operate machinery. Secondly, never drink alcohol or take other medications that could cause drowsiness like tranquilizers while using the drug. Thirdly, this drug could cause temporary memory loss for several hours.

Finally, pregnant and breastfeeding women must not use the drug due to the harmful effect to the fetus.

Incidentally, if a person us using Midazolam for an extended period, there is a high percentage of developing high tolerance. As a result, it could lead to dependency and addiction. Furthermore, If one has used this medicine for a long time and at high doses and quit abruptly, the following withdrawal symptoms could be visible:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle pain
  • Seizures
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Body tremors
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Common Side Effects While Taking Midazolam

Actually, the side effects of the drug could range from minimal to worst. Of course, this depends on a number of doses, a length of use as well as a case of an overdose. Below are the common side effects while under Midazolam prescription:

  • Feeling of restlessness
  • Headache
  • Inability to control oneself
  • Lack of balance
  • Irritability
  • Noisy breathing
  • Not breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Slurred speech
  • Inability to respond quickly
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Unconsciousness
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Tremors

In fact, if a person suspects someone with Midazolam overdose, they must bring them to the hospital for immediate medical assistance. It is due to these dangerous side effects:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unexplained drowsiness
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Change in consciousness

In rare cases, other side effects of Midazolam are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Hiccups
  • Drooling of mouth
  • Gagging
Midazolam is a class of benzodiazepine drug, commonly prescribed for patients about to undergo surgery to maintain sedation. Prolonged used of Midazolam could lead to serious side effects including one’s dependence and addiction.

Page Sources

  1. Medline Plus. Midazolam Injection. 2019. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a609014.html.
  2. Medline Plus. Midazolam. 2019. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a609003.html.
  3. Wright S. W. Midazolam use in the emergency department. American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 1990; 8(2):97-100. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2302291.
  4. Khanderia U., Pandit S. K. Use of midazolam hydrochloride in anesthesia. Clinical pharmacology. 1987; 6(7): 533-47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3319363.

Published on: March 22nd, 2017

Updated on: February 23rd, 2021

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


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  • Belinda Sullaphen
    Hi. My daughter (16 yrs) had a panic attack at school. The trigger was an road accident she saw which brought up a memory of the far past! She suffers from psychic stress for 2 yrs of the recent past actions of her dad. The paramedics gave her 2.5mg Tameesta ( which had already calmed her anxiety attack) & an IV of an unknown amount of Dormicum. The latter increased her breathing & he face swelled up! The paramedics did not bother about her medical history before giving my already unconscious child Dormicum!