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What is Valium?

Valium, also known as diazepam, belongs to a group of prescription drugs called benzodiazaines. Valium is used to control agitation due to withdrawals for people suffering from alcoholism. It is also used to relieve muscle spasms, anxiety, and seizures.

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Diazepam comes in a tablet, a capsule, and liquid to take by mouth. It may be taken with or without food, 1-4 times a day and you must follow the prescription directions carefully. The Diazepam concentrate comes with a dropper, and it must be diluted with water, juice, or carbonated beverages. Some people mix it in applesauce or pudding before taking it.

Diazepam may be addicting so doctors recommend that you do not take bigger doses than prescribed, and that you do not stop the medication all of a sudden because it may lead to withdrawals such as anxiousness, irritability, and sleeplessness. Before taking Valium you should tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to diazepam, alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Librax), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax), prazepam (Centrax), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), or any other drugs.

People who have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, asthma, epilepsy, a history of mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, suicidal thoughts or behavior, should not take Valium. FDA recommends that a pregnant woman should not take Valium because it may harm the unborn baby. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking Valium, she must tell her doctor because Valium may cause low blood pressure, breathing problems, or addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn baby if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy.

Diazepam can pass into the breastmilk and harm the baby while breastfeeding. Sedative effects of Valium may last longer in older adults, and accidental falls occur more in elderly patients who take it. Any one on this medication should not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Valium. This medicine is not to be given to a child younger than 6 months old because it affects the chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. Taking alcohol while on Valium can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug, and cigarettes may decrease its effectiveness. Side effects are common and sometimes obvious.

They may include drowsiness, dizziness, lethargy, gait problems, mental confusion, vertigo, and impaired vision. If restlessness, constipation, difficult or frequent urination, or blurred vision are severe and don’t go away, you should contact your doctor immediately. If you experience seizures, shuffling walk, fever, difficulty breathing or swallowing, you should call your doctor and let him know. In case of an overdose you should call your local poison control center. If the victim is passed out or has stopped breathing, call 911. Do not let anyone else take your medications, and keep it stored out of reach of children.

References

Gerada C, Ashworth M.. ( 2003 August). Addiction Search. In Valium addiction, treatment, and withdrawal. Retrieved 4/20/2012, from http://www.addictionsearch.com/treatment_articles/article/valium-addiction-treatment-and-withdrawal_19.html.

Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD . (1996-2012). MedicineNet.com. In diazepam, Valium. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from http://www.medicinenet.com/diazepam/article.htm.