Valium is a common anti-anxiety drug used for treating anxiety disorder, alcohol withdrawal, and spasms in muscles. Indeed, the drug has many off-label uses too. The medication effectively controls seizure. It is a type of benzodiazepine drug that alters the brain cells to create a calming effect in people with anxiety disorder.
Before using Valium
Valium or diazepam is readily available in many online pharmacy portals. This does not mean anyone can consume the drug. Though this is a very common anti-anxiety drug, it should not be used by people with following conditions
- Problem in liver or kidney
- Problem in the brain, especially seizure
- Mental disorders like depression and suicidal tendencies
- Addiction or history of drug abuse
- Respiratory problems like sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma, emphysema and others
- Muscle weakness problems
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Less than 6 months of age
How to take the drug?
The drug should be taken as directed by the doctor in terms of dosage, time and other instructions. Do not increase or decrease the dose as per your wish, as it can cause habit forming, which leads to addiction, overdose or even death.
It is usually sold in tablet form. The tablet should not be crushed or dissolved before consuming. The liquid formulation of Valium should be measured with a dose measuring spoon and not your kitchenware.
There should be a gap of minimum 8 hours between two doses. If you forget to take your dose, take it immediately if there is 8 hours or more left for the next dose. Alternatively, skip the dose and continue with the next dose, at the right time. Taking extra medication can cause overdose symptoms like extreme drowsiness, weakness in muscle, fainting, lack of coordination or loss of balance. In some cases, overdose can cause fatal effects too. Thus, emergency medical help is essential.
The information provided in this section is generic. If there are differences in dosage strength recommended by your doctor and as highlighted in this section, always follow doctor’s prescription. In many cases, the doctor might increase or decrease the dose level based on medical history, medical condition, and others.
For anxiety disorder, 2mg to 10mg should be taken for 2-4 times a day. For alcohol withdrawal, 10mg should be taken for the first 24 hours and the drug should be continued as 5mg for four times, every day. For muscle spasm, 2mg to 10 mg is recommended for 4 times a day. For convulsion disorder, 2mg to 10mg is recommended, 4 times a day. For pediatric patients, 1mg to 2.5mg for four times a day should be given initially and dose can be increased gradually, as needed.
Food and drinks to be avoided
Valium interacts with many drugs and food items and causes unwanted effects. Valium should not be used with alcohol. Consuming alcohol can cause side effects like difficulty in concentration, dizziness, and drowsiness.
The drug is also affected by grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Interaction of Valium with grapefruit can cause alcohol effects in your body. It can make you feel drowsy, dizzy or even tired. Caffeine can cause minor interactions with the drug. It may not be relevant to all patients. In some cases, caffeine can also cause unwanted drug interactions. Though it does not cause a significant effect, it is important to talk to your doctor about the amount of caffeine you consume every day, before taking Valium.
If you have any life threatening medical condition or if you are consuming any life-saving drugs, talk to a doctor about your medical history and list of drugs you consume to learn whether Valium is right for you or not. The list of drugs should include over-the-counter drug, drugs which are used on-demand and on daily basis, herbal drugs, supplements and even, vitamin pills.