Valium

Valium treats anxiety and several other medical conditions. This medication can cause drowsiness. Do not abruptly stop taking Valium without first talking to your doctor.

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Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Valium
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Benzodiazepines
Valium
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Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Valium
Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines
Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the Benzodiazepines class of medications

Valium Overview

Updated: 

Valium is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and certain types of seizures. It is also used to treat certain symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including agitation, tremor, and hallucinations.

Valium belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs work by increasing the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter responsible for inhibiting activity within the nervous system.

This medication comes in tablet form and is typically taken 1 to 4 times daily, with or without food.

Common side effects include drowsiness, weakness, and confusion.

Valium can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Valium affects you.

Patient Ratings for Valium

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What are you taking Valium for?

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  • Other
  • Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Panic Disorder
  • Status Epilepticus

How long have you been taking it?

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Valium work for you?

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How likely would you be to recommend Valium to a friend?

Valium Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Valium

Valium is a prescription medicine used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and certain types of seizures. It is also used to treat certain symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including agitation, tremor, and hallucinations.

This medicine may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Valium Drug Class

Valium is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Valium

Serious side effects have been reported with Valium. See the “Valium Precautions” section.

Common side effects include:

  • drowsiness
  • fatigue (a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion or a need to rest because of lack of energy or strength)
  • muscle weakness
  • poor coordination (ataxia)
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in vision

This is not a complete list of Valium side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Valium Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • sodium oxybate
  • atazanavir
  • boceprevir
  • carbinoxamine
  • chloramphenicol
  • cimetidine
  • clarithromycin
  • conivaptan
  • cyclosporine
  • darunavir
  • delavirdine
  • doxylamine
  • esomeprazole
  • felbamate
  • fluoxetine
  • fluvoxamine
  • fosamprenavir
  • gefitinib
  • idelalisib
  • imatinib
  • indinavir
  • itraconazole
  • ketoconazole
  • lopinavir/ritonavir
  • nefazodone
  • nelfinavir
  • omeprazole
  • oxcarbazepine
  • posaconazole
  • ritonavir
  • saquinavir
  • telaprevir
  • telithromycin
  • tipranavir
  • voriconazole
  • aripiprazole
  • cobicistat
  • codeine
  • dexmedetomidine
  • etravirine
  • fosphenytoin
  • fospropofol
  • hydrocodone
  • phenytoin
  • propofol
  • suvorexant
  • acrivastine
  • aldesleukin
  • alfentanil
  • alprazolam
  • amiodarone
  • amitriptyline
  • amoxapine
  • apomorphine
  • aprepitant
  • aripiprazole lauroxil
  • armodafinil
  • artemether/lumefantrine
  • asenapine
  • azelastine
  • baclofen
  • bexarotene
  • bosentan
  • brexpiprazole
  • brompheniramine
  • buprenorphine
  • butabarbital
  • butalbital
  • butorphanol
  • calendula
  • capsicum
  • carbamazepine
  • carisoprodol
  • cetirizine
  • chloral hydrate
  • chlordiazepoxide
  • chlorpheniramine
  • chlorpromazine
  • chlorzoxazone
  • clemastine
  • clobazam
  • clomipramine
  • clonazepam
  • clonidine
  • clopidogrel
  • clorazepate
  • clozapine
  • cyclizine
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • cyproheptadine
  • danazol
  • dantrolene
  • desflurane
  • desipramine
  • dexamethasone
  • dexchlorpheniramine
  • diazepam
  • dichloralphenazone
  • dichlorphenamide
  • dihydrocodeine
  • diltiazem
  • dimenhydrinate
  • diphenhydramine
  • doxepin
  • dronabinol
  • dronedarone
  • droperidol
  • efavirenz
  • enflurane
  • erythromycin
  • eslicarbazepine acetate
  • estazolam
  • eszopiclone
  • ethanol
  • ethosuximide
  • etomidate
  • ezogabine
  • fentanyl
  • flibanserin
  • fluconazole
  • fluphenazine
  • flurazepam
  • fosaprepitant
  • gabapentin
  • gabapentin enacarbil
  • goldenseal
  • guanabenz
  • guanfacine
  • haloperidol
  • hawthorn
  • hydromorphone
  • hydroxyzine
  • iloperidone
  • imipramine
  • isoflurane
  • isoniazid
  • kava
  • ketamine
  • levocetirizine
  • levorphanol
  • lorazepam
  • loxapine
  • lumacaftor
  • lurasidone
  • maprotiline
  • meclizine
  • melatonin
  • meperidine
  • meprobamate
  • metaxalone
  • methadone
  • methocarbamol
  • methohexital
  • methsuximide
  • methyldopa
  • metoclopramide
  • midazolam
  • milk thistle
  • mirtazapine
  • mitotane
  • modafinil
  • morphine
  • nabilone
  • nalbuphine
  • nevirapine
  • nortriptyline
  • olanzapine
  • orphenadrine
  • oxazepam
  • oxybutynin
  • oxycodone
  • oxymorphone
  • paliperidone
  • pentazocine
  • pentobarbital
  • perampanel
  • perphenazine
  • pheniramine
  • phenobarbital
  • pimozide
  • pramipexole
  • pregabalin
  • primidone
  • prochlorperazine
  • promethazine
  • protriptyline
  • pyrilamine
  • quetiapine
  • remifentanil
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin
  • rifapentine
  • risperidone
  • ropinirole
  • rotigotine 
  • rufinamide
  • secobarbital
  • sertraline
  • sevoflurane
  • St. John's wort
  • sufentanil
  • tamoxifen
  • tapentadol
  • temazepam
  • tetrabenazine
  • thalidomide
  • thioridazine
  • thiothixene
  • tiagabine
  • ticlopidine
  • tizanidine
  • tolcapone
  • topiramate
  • tramadol
  • trazodone
  • triazolam
  • trifluoperazine
  • trimipramine
  • triprolidine
  • ustekinumab
  • valerian
  • valproic acid
  • verapamil
  • vigabatrin
  • zaleplon
  • ziconotide
  • ziprasidone
  • zolpidem
  • zonisamide

This is not a complete list of Valium drug interactions. Talk to your doctor for more information.

Valium Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Valium including the following:

Dependence. Valium may produce psychological and/or physical dependence. A component of this risk is currently believed to be inheritable and risk increases with duration of treatment with Valium. Consult with your physician about your risk for developing dependence to Valium.

Withdrawal symptoms. If abruptly discontinued, withdrawal symptoms of tremors, seizures, rapid heart rate, sweating, and/or general ill-feeling (malaise) may develop. Do not abruptly discontinue Valium. Consult with your physician if you wish to discontinue treatment and your physician will instruct you on how to safely discontinue use.

Seizures. Seizures are rare in people taking Valium, but they have been known to occur. Consult with your physician immediately if you have a seizure while taking Valium.

Do not take Valium if you:

  • are allergic to Valium or to any of its ingredients 
  • are a child under 6 years of age
  • have myasthenia gravis
  • have severe liver disease
  • have sleep apnea
  • have acute narrow-angle glaucoma

Valium can also cause drowsiness and/or dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Valium affects you

Valium Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Valium and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Inform MD

Before taking Valium, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Valium or to any of its ingredients
  • have seizures (epilepsy)
  • have lung disease (asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, or COPD)
  • have heart disease
  • have liver disease
  • have kidney disease
  • have glaucoma
  • have sleep apnea
  • drink alcohol or use other sedative medications
  • are over the age of 65 years
  • have a history of mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • have a history of alcohol or drug addiction
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Valium and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category D. It has been shown that use of Valium in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.

Valium and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. 

Valium has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from Valium, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Valium Usage

Take Valium exactly as prescribed.

Valium is available in tablet form and is typically taken 1 to 4 times daily, with or without food. Taking Valium with food may help if it bothers your stomach.

Because Valium may produce psychological and physical dependence, it is advisable that you consult with your physician before increasing your dose or abruptly discontinuing Valium. The risk of dependence increases with duration of treatment; it is also greater in people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Valium at the same time.

Valium Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your age

The recommended dose range of Valium for the treatment of anxiety, muscle spasms, certain types of seizures, and/or symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including agitation, tremor, and hallucinations is 2 mg to 10 mg by mouth up to four times daily.

Valium Overdose

If you take too much Valium, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store at room temperature 59° to 86°F (15° to 30°C)
  • Protect from light
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children