A 70-year-old woman is in your office complaining of recently having trouble maintaining her balance after taking diazepam (valium). She occasionally takes diazepam when she feels anxious and has trouble sleeping. She has a 15-year history of taking diazepam.
Q1. Explain the cause of this patient’s difficulty in maintaining her balance?
Q2. Diazepam experiences a significant first-pass effect. What is the first-pass effect, and how can first-pass metabolism be circumvented?