|Drug Name:||Valium (Diazepam)|
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Everything You Need to Know about Valium
Valium (Diazepam) is used for a variety of conditions, including muscle spasms and anxiety. This medication won the reputation of an effective treatment. We’ll tell more about its uses, side effects, and more.
The Past and Present of the Drug
In 2019, Valium (Diazepam) was ranked 117th most often prescribed medication in the United States. However, there were times when Valium was on the top sales. This drug is the result of the search for safer alternatives to meprobamate and barbiturates, which was initiated in the middle of the 20th century. The active substance of Valium, Diazepam, was patented in 1961 and introduced to the pharmaceutical market under its brand name in 1963.
At that time, little was known about the safety of benzodiazepines, which Valium actually is, so the period between 1969 and 1982 became the most successful for the drug developers Hoffman La-Roche. The medication became one of the most prescribed in the US. Things changed when the high abuse potential of the drug came to the surface. This became the reason for a significant decrease in Valium sales.
Valium (Diazepam) Effect and Effectiveness. How Does It Work?
Diazepam, Valium generic, produces an anxiolytic effect, works as a muscle relaxant and sedative agent. It’s a long-acting benzodiazepine. This medication is typically used in the therapy of anxiety with or without panic disorder and acute alcohol withdrawal accompanied by tremor, agitation, delirium. Valium can also be recommended to people dealing with restless leg syndrome, sleep disorder, skeletal muscle spasms due to trauma or previous disease, and seizures.
While the medication works well alone for most of the mentioned medical conditions, for muscle spasticity and seizures, it is more effective as an adjunct therapy.
The action of Valium is aimed at increasing the effect of the neurotransmitters, known as GABA, in the human brain. This helps you to calm down, reduce the levels of fear and anxiety, as well as overcome stress easier. Valium soothes muscle pain and works well for the prevention of seizures and convulsions.
Recreational Use of Valium
Some people use Valium recreationally trying to achieve physical euphoria, relaxation, and other effects high doses of this drug can produce. The statistic says that Valium is the third most often abused tranquilizer in the United States.Luckily, every year the number of people using this drug for non-medical purposes reduces. One of the reasons for that is less pronounced euphoric effects compared to other benzos.
What Dose of Valium Do I Need?
You can buy Valium (Diazepam) only if you have a prescription. This is a scheduled medication, with high misuse potential, so you should use it only when clearly needed. Valium comes in the form of pills. They may contain 2 mg, 5 mg, or 10 mg of the active substance. Which dosage is most appropriate for you should be decided individually with your healthcare provider.
The factors that may influence your daily dose of the medication include:
- Your age (the dosage for children is based on weight);
- The medical condition you suffer;
- Your response to the therapy;
- Presence/absence of any comorbidities.
The treatment with Valium usually starts with a 2 mg dose 2 – 4 times per day. If needed, your doctor may increase it up to 10 mg. However, it is strongly recommended to stick to the lowest effective dosage. Not only this saves you from un unneeded intake of medicines but also reduces the risks for unwanted reactions.
Contraindications and Warnings
The use of Valium is tied to certain risks. However, they are present regardless of what medication you take. The task of your doctor is to prevent and avoid possible complications while achieving stable improvements in your health condition. To help your doctor with this, you should inform them about any major health condition you suffer or have suffered.
You may be contraindicated to take Valium in the following cases:
- Known hypersensitivity to Diazepam, other benzos, or excipients;
- Pregnancy or lactation period;
- Myasthenia gravis;
- Severe hepatic or renal disease;
- Severe breathing disorders (COPD, asthma);
- Sleep apnea syndrome;
- Narrow-angle glaucoma.
People with a history of substance abuse are more prone to develop tolerance and dependence on the drug. Therefore, they may take Valium only when clearly needed. To still reduce the risks, the duration of the therapy shouldn’t exceed 4 – 6 weeks.
Never use Valium along with opioids, MAOIs, alcohol, or other substances and medications that suppress the activity of the nervous system.
What about Side Effects?
No medicine is totally safe. Valium (Diazepam) can cause some unwanted reactions, yet in the bulk, they are minor and don’t possess any danger to your health. What’s more, a lot of them improve as you proceed with the treatment.
The most common adverse reactions to the drug include but are not limited to:
- Coordination problems (ataxia);
- Muscle weakness.
It is also possible that you develop severe reactions to Diazepam, which may show through depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, restlessness, agitation, and other psychiatric reactions.
Valium is worth using if your quality of life improves with it. This medication requires caution but your effort is definitely worth the result.