Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine. Diazepam works by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. It is used to treat anxiety disorders, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Valium is often used with other medications to treat muscle spasms and stiffness, or seizures.
The injection form is used when quick relief is desired or when the medicine cannot be taken orally. This medication is also used for the short-term treatment of serious seizures that do not stop. It is not for ongoing daily use to prevent seizures. It is suggested to be used when necessary. Diazepam is also used before a surgery or procedure as anesthesia to cause drowsiness, decrease anxiety, and to help the patient forget what happened during the surgery/procedure. It works by calming the brain and nerves.
Possible side effects of Valium
Diazepam can slow or stop your breathing, particularly if you have recently used an opioid medication or alcohol. The person present at the moment with the patient should seek emergency medical help if the patient has slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Consult with your doctor right away if you have sudden or new changes in mood or behavior, including new or worse depression or anxiety, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, more active or talkative, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor immediately if you face:
- trouble breathing;
- severe drowsiness or dizziness;
- new or worsening seizures;
Drowsiness or dizziness may last for a longer time in older adults. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury.
Common Valium side effects may include:
- feeling tired;
- problems with balance or muscle movement;
- Muscle weakness.
After you stop using Valium, get medical help right away if you have face symptoms such as: unusual muscle movements, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, being more active or talkative, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, suicidal thoughts or actions.
Tell your doctor if you have ongoing anxiety, depression, problems with memory or thinking, trouble sleeping, ringing in your ears, a burning or prickly feeling, or a crawling sensation under your skin. These withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer after stopping this medicine suddenly.
Warnings before or after using Valium
You must not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam or similar medicines (Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, and others), or if you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea.
Misuse of this medicine can cause overdose, addiction, or even death. Keep the medication in a place where unwanted hands or children cannot get to it.
Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor. If you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use you might face life – threatening withdrawal symptoms. Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer.