Valium

Generic Name: Diazepam

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Valium is a medicine used for the management of anxiety disorder, symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, and seizures.

    Valium is a federally controlled substance because it has abuse potential.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Valium works by slowing down your brain activity, thereby producing a calming effect.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Valium may have a calming effect that can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Valium exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Your healthcare provider may ask you a series of questions from time to time, which will help assess how well your symptoms are controlled with treatment.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: drowsiness, tiredness, muscle weakness, problems with coordination.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Mental and physical dependence can occur. Keep Valium in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse.

    Seizures can occur if you stop taking Valium or decrease your dose. Do not stop taking Valium or change the dose without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Valium can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about other treatment options if you plan to become pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Valium.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Valium if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Valium if you have an eye condition called acute narrow-angle glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness), severe liver or breathing problems, or sleep apnea (stopping breathing temporarily during sleep).

    Do not give Valium to children under 6 months.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Valium. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of alcohol or substance abuse; liver, kidney, or breathing problems; glaucoma; myasthenia gravis; seizures; depression or suicidal tendencies; mental illness; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults and children >6 months: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you or your child based on your condition.

    If you are elderly or have certain other conditions, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

    It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Valium exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Valium without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how Valium affects you.

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Valium.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Valium is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Valium may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Valium can harm your unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy. Valium can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Valium. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Valium, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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