Valium (diazepam) is a tranquilizer used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, seizures, to relieve muscle spasms and sedate patients before procedures.  Many people who undergo MRIs are given Valium to help relax them before having the test performed.

Created by chemist Leo Sternbach at Hoffman-LaRoche as a treatment for anxiety, Valium created a new class of tranquilizers, called benzodiazepines, and was approved for use in 1963.  Valium enhances the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a natural chemical in the body, producing a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system.  Valium was safer and more effective that previous treatments for anxiety and became the most prescribed drug in the United States between 1969 and 1982.

What Are the Side Effects of Valium?

Some of the reported common side effects you may experience include dizziness, loss of balance, fatigue, constipation blurred vision, drowsiness or headache.

Serious side effects that can occur include mood changes, agitation, hallucinations, slurred speech, trouble walking, tremors, sleep disturbances, abdominal pain, persistent nausea, vomiting, jaundice of the eyes or skin, persistent sore throat or fever.  Additional side effects can be found on the drug information sheet you receive with your prescription.

If you experience any side effects contact your doctor immediately.

Is Valium Addictive?

Valium can be addictive when used at higher doses over a prolonged period of time and can produces symptoms of withdrawal.  So if Valium has been taken for a long period of time don’t stop taking it abruptly.

Drug Interactions

Valium can interact with other prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins and herbal products so be sure to tell your doctor about any other medications and supplements you may be using. Alcohol or medications that cause sedation may add to the sedative effects of Valium and you should avoid such combinations.

Special Precautions

Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use Valium.  Benzodiazepines can cause fetal abnormalities and are excreted in breast milk which can affect nursing infants.

Valium is supplied as round, flat-faced scored tablets with V-shaped perforation and beveled edges.  In the front, there are imprint of 2 – Valium, 5-Valium or 10-Valium for 2, 5, and 10 mg of Valium tablet respectively. On the back all Valium has the imprint of the manufacturer – ROCHE twice.

10 mg Valium tablet by ROCHE


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