Historical note and nomenclature
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By K K Jain MD

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine developed by original research in the late 1950s and has been marketed as Valium since 1963. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States prior to 1982 and is still 1 of the top 200 drugs. Although originally intended as an anxiolytic, it now has many other indications. Intravenous diazepam has been used since the 1960s for controlling status epilepticus (Otto and Schlagenhauf 1968). It is available in oral as well as parenteral forms, and a rectal gel was introduced in 1997.