What is Valium?
Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine. Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms. It’s sometimes used with other medications to treat seizures.
How to use Valium
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as shaking, abdominal/muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, anxiety, restlessness, seizures). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used diazepam for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Important Information on Valium
You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam or similar medicines (Klonopin, Xanax, and others), or if you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea.
Valium side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Valium: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- weak or shallow breathing;
- severe drowsiness, feeling like you might pass out;
- depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- confusion, hallucinations;
- anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping;
- hyperactivity, agitation, aggression, hostility;
- unusual risk-taking behavior; or
- new or worsening seizures.