What is Valium?
Valium (diazepam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms. Valium is sometimes used with other medications to treat seizures.
Valium may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Valium
You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam or similar medicines (Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Xanax, and others), or if you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea. Do not use Valium if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
Before you take Valium, tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, asthma or other breathing problems, kidney or liver disease, seizures, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Valium. This medicine can increase the effects of alcohol.
Never take more of this medication than your doctor has prescribed. An overdose of Valium can be fatal.
Valium may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Before taking Valium
Valium may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share Valium with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. 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;
* narrow-angle glaucoma;
* a severe breathing problem; or
* sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep).
Do not give Valium to a child younger than 6 months old.
To make sure you can safely take Valium, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
* open-angle glaucoma;
* asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
* kidney or liver disease;
* epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
* a history of mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
* a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
How should I take Valium?
Take Valium exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Valium should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 12 weeks (3 months) without your doctor's advice. Do not stop using Valium suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Valium. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Call your doctor at once if you feel that this medicine is not working as well as usual, or if you think you need to use more than usual.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call 911. An overdose of diazepam can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, loss of balance or coordination, confusion, limp or weak muscles, or fainting.
What should I avoid while taking Valium?
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Do not drink alcohol while taking Valium. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.
Valium side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Valium: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Valium and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
* 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;
* feeling like you might pass out;
* muscle twitching, tremor;
* loss of bladder control; or
* urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious Valium side effects may include:
* drowsiness, tired feeling;
* memory problems;
* dizziness, spinning sensation;
* feeling restless or irritable;
* muscle weakness;
* nausea, constipation;
* drooling or dry mouth, slurred speech;
* blurred vision, double vision;
* mild skin rash, itching; or
* loss of interest in sex.