Valium (generic: diazepam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is also used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including agitation, tremor, and hallucinations. Valium belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines which work by reducing the activity of nerves in the brain.
This medication comes in tablet, liquid and injectable forms. It may be taken 2 to 4 times daily, with or without food.
Common side effects of Valium include drowsiness, tiredness, and weakness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Valium affects you.
Valium (diazepam) is a prescription medicine called a benzodiazepine, used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is also used to treat 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.
The most common side effects are:
- fatigue (a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion or a need to rest because of lack of energy or strength)
- muscle weakness
- poor coordination (ataxia)
Other side effects may include:
- dry mouth
- changes in appetite
Call your doctor right away if you experience:
- difficulty breathing
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:
- cimetidine (Tagamet)
- digoxin (Lanoxin)
- disulfiram (Antabuse)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- isoniazid (INH, Laniazid, Nydrazid)
- ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet)
- antidepressant medicines
- medicine for seizures
- medicine for pain
- metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
- muscle relaxants
- oral contraceptives
- propoxyphene (Darvon)
- propranolol (Inderal)
- ranitidine (Zantac)
- rifampin (Rifadin)
- medicines for sleep
- theophylline (Theo-Dur)
- valproic acid (Depakene)
This is not a complete list of Valium drug interactions. Talk to your doctor for more information.
Do not take Valium if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, or if you are allergic to similar medications (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril and others).
Valium may produce psychological and physical dependence (habit-forming) and is a controlled substance under Schedule IV. Never give this medicine to others.
You should talk to your doctor before either increasing your dose, or suddenly stopping this medication. The risk of dependence increases with the duration of treatment. In patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse, the risk of dependence is also increased.
Valium may cause drowsiness and dizziness and may impair your ability to operate a vehicle or machinery. Do not drink alcohol, or take any medicines that cause drowsiness, while taking Valium.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Valium and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any ingredient in Valium.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- seizures (epilepsy)
- lung disease (asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, COPD)
- heart disease
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- glaucoma (open-angle)
- a history of mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
- a history of alcohol or drug addiction
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Valium may harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking Valium talk to your doctor right away.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Valium is excreted in human breast milk. Breastfeeding is therefore not recommended during Valium therapy.
Valium tablets can be taken with our without food.
If you miss a dose do not take a double dose unless your doctor advises you to.
Do not abruptly stop taking Valium without talking to your doctor. Your dosage may be gradually decreased to avoid withdrawal symptoms (anxiousness, sleeplessness, irritability).
Take Valium exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dosage for you. The dosage must be individualized.
The usual adult daily dosage varies from 2 mg to 10 mg up to four times daily.
If you take too much Valium, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Valium tablets are available in 2 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg strengths.
Active ingredient: diazepam
Inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, corn starch, calcium stearate
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.