Generic name: DiazepamBrand names: Valium
Valium is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and for short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.
It is also used to relieve the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal, to relax muscles, to relieve the uncontrolled muscle movements caused by cerebral palsy and paralysis of the lower body and limbs, to control involuntary movement of the hands (athetosis), to relax tight, aching muscles, and, along with other medications, to treat convulsive disorders such as epilepsy.
Valium can be habit-forming or addictive. You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using Valium abruptly. Discontinue or change your dose only on your doctor's advice.
Take Valium exactly as prescribed. If you are taking Valium for epilepsy, make sure you take it every day at the same time.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Valium.
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Valium, you should not take Valium.
Do not take Valium if you have the eye condition known as acute narrow-angle glaucoma.
Anxiety or tension related to everyday stress usually does not require treatment with such a powerful drug as Valium. Discuss your symptoms thoroughly with your doctor.
Valium should not be prescribed if you are being treated for mental disorders more serious than anxiety.
Valium may cause you to become drowsy or less alert; therefore, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how Valium affects you.
If you have liver or kidney problems, use Valium cautiously.
Valium slows down the central nervous system and may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking Valium.
If Valium is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Valium with any of the following:Antiseizure drugs such as DilantinAntidepressant drugs such as Elavil and ProzacAntipsychotic drugs such as Mellaril and chlorpromazineBarbiturates such as phenobarbitalCimetidine (Tagamet)Digoxin (Lanoxin)Disulfiram (Antabuse)Fluoxetine (Prozac)Isoniazid (Rifamate)Levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet)MAO inhibitors (antidepressant drugs such as Nardil)Narcotics such as PercocetOmeprazole (Prilosec)Oral contraceptivesPropoxyphene (Darvon)Ranitidine (Zantac)Rifampin (Rifadin)
Do not take Valium if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There is an increased risk of birth defects.
If Valium is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders and Short-Term Relief of the Symptoms of Anxiety
The usual dose, depending upon severity of symptoms, is 2 milligrams to 10 milligrams 2 to 4 times daily.
Acute Alcohol Withdrawal
The usual dose is 10 milligrams 3 or 4 times during the first 24 hours, then 5 milligrams 3 or 4 times daily as needed.
Relief of Muscle Spasm
The usual dose is 2 milligrams to 10 milligrams 3 or 4 times daily.
The usual dose is 2 milligrams to 10 milligrams 2 to 4 times daily.
Valium should not be given to children under 6 months of age.
The usual starting dose for children over 6 months is 1 to 2.5 milligrams 3 or 4 times a day. Your doctor may increase the dosage gradually if needed.
The usual dosage is 2 milligrams to 2.5 milligrams once or twice a day, which your doctor will increase as needed. Your doctor will limit the dosage to the smallest effective amount because older people are more apt to become oversedated or uncoordinated.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.