After careful consideration the practice has decided to no longer prescribe diazepam for patients having MRI scans or other investigative procedures. We have a duty of care to provide safe, consistent, and appropriate care for our patients.

Please see the reasons outlined below to explain our concerns.

  1. Small doses of diazepam may be sub-therapeutic for most adults for any effective sedation. Although diazepam makes most people who take it sleepy, in some rare situations it can have the opposite effect and make people aggressive or agitated. This may result in your procedure being delayed.
  2. A patient may take a sedative an hour before their assumed procedure, to then attend the hospital and find that the procedure has been delayed, therefore the timing of the anxiolytic being sub optimal.
  3. GP’s are not regularly involved, skilled, or trained to provide the correct level of sedation for a procedure/scan.
  4. It is the responsibility of the hospital consultants/doctor requesting the imaging to prescribe medication if they deem necessary. They can do this through the hospital pharmacy or organising a prescription themselves.
  5. Sedated patients should be monitored regularly for any adverse effects of the medication.
  6. The Royal College of Radiologists’ own guidelines on sedation for imaging makes no mention of GP involvement or provision of low dose anxiolytics and stresses the importance of experienced well-trained staff involved and the monitoring of sedated patients.

We would be grateful if you could discuss this with the relevant specialist who has requested this, and to prescribe as they see fit.

Thank you,

The Partners at Swallownest Health Centre

January 2024