Generic Name: Valium Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Valium® (diazepam) used for?

Valium® is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms. Valium® can sometimes be used with other medications to treat seizures.

How should I take Valium® (diazepam)?

Valium® may be addictive. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can lead to addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or distributing this medicine is illegal.

Valium® should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medicine for longer than 4 months without your doctor’s advice.

Do not stop using Valium® suddenly, or you could have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medication.

While you use Valium®, blood tests can be needed at your doctor’s office.

Avoid drinking alcohol. There may occur dangerous side effects.

How do I store Valium® (diazepam)?

Valium® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Valium® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Valium® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Valium® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Valium® (diazepam)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Valium® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Valium® if you are allergic to diazepam or similar drugs (Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Xanax, and others), or if you have:

  • Myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder)
  • Severe liver disease
  • A severe breathing problem
  • Sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep)
  • Alcoholism, or addiction to drugs similar to diazepam

When treating seizures, do not start or stop taking Valium® during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice. Valium® may cause harm to an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both the mother and the baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Valium® for seizures.

When treating anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, or muscle spasms: If you take Valium® while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Diazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

The sedative effects of Valium® may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking Valium.

Valium® is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 months old. Do not give this medicine to a child without a doctor’s advice.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Valium® (diazepam)?

Here are some common side effects of Valium®:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Unsteadiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger
  • Depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
  • Hyperactivity, agitation, aggression, hostility
  • New or worsening seizures
  • Weak or shallow breathing, a feeling like you might pass out
  • Muscle twitching, tremor
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Little or no urinating

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.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Valium® (diazepam)?

Valium® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Cimetidine
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Omeprazole
  • Phenytoin
  • An antibiotic–clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin
  • An antidepressant such as fluoxetine and others
  • Antifungal medicine–itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole
  • Heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem, nicardipine, quinidine, verapamil, and others
  • HIV/AIDS medicine–atazanavir, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, or ritonavir

Does food or alcohol interact with Valium® (diazepam)?

Food that may interact with this drugs: caffein, grapefruit.

Do not drink alcohol while taking Valium®.

What health conditions may interact with Valium® (diazepam)?

Valium® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Obesity
  • Seizures
  • Depression

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Valium® (diazepam) for an adult?

Management of Anxiety Disorders and Relief of Symptoms of Anxiety: depending upon severity of symptoms—2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily.

What is the dose of Valium® (diazepam) for a child?

1 mg to 2.5 mg, 3 or 4 times daily initially; increase gradually as needed and tolerated.

Valium® is Not for use in pediatric patients under 6 months.

How is Valium® (diazepam) available?

Valium® available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet: diazepam 2mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Valium®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: July 23, 2017 | Last Modified: July 23, 2017

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