Valium is one of the most well-known benzo medications prescribed to treat anxiety. Its use is common in both adults and children, however, it is a controlled substance that should be always prescribed with caution.
Popular Uses of Valium
Valium belongs to the benzodiazepine class of medications. The benzo medications are known as highly addictive and poor-tolerable if discontinuing the treatment rapidly. Abruptly stopping the intake of Valium for anxiety may result in convulsion and seizures. However, when gradually decreasing the dosage, it is considered relatively safe.
Among the popular uses of this antidepressant, there are anxiety disorder, seizures, difficulty sleeping, muscle spasms as well as withdrawal of alcohol symptoms in adults. A doctor may occasionally choose it as sedative preoperative medication.
The mechanism of action of Valium for anxiety is not clearly understood, however, it is believed to affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and calm the brain and nerves. It allows managing the symptoms of anxiety as well as related psychiatric abnormalities in adults.
Valium for anxiety may be administered into a vein, and the effect may be felt approximately within 5 minutes. When taken by mouth, the effect comes in 15 minutes up to 1 hour. Beyond that, this antidepressant is available in a nasal spray and rectal gel form.
Common Side Effects of Valium
Valium dosage for anxiety may cause side effects when taken not as directed, increasing the dosage without speaking to the doctor, or when taken alongside alcohol or other medications contraindicated for interactions.
Common side effects when taking Valium for anxiety include:
- muscle weakness;
- blurred vision.
Taking this benzo medication for longer than 4 weeks may lead to addiction. A doctor should periodically reassess its efficacy and tolerability.
Overdose incidents have been reported when taking Valium in large doses and they typically result in difficulty breathing, drowsiness, and extreme weakness.
Abuse of Valium for social anxiety is occasionally observed, especially when taken with alcohol for sedative effects. A doctor should assess its applicability in patients with a medical history of substance abuse disorder.
Gradual discontinuation of treatment with Valium is required to avoid withdrawal symptoms including:
Valium should not be prescribed to pregnant women. It has the potential for developing malformations and abnormalities in the fetus. Born children whose mother took Valium during pregnancy may have withdrawal symptoms.
Valium excretes into breast milk. Both pregnant and nursing mothering should speak with the doctor about other modalities used to treat anxiety.
This medication may be occasionally prescribed to children. However, the FDA issued a black box warning, as it may increase the probability of suicidal ideation.
Do not take Valium for anxiety with other benzo medications, MAOIs, cough, and cold medications, as they may alter the efficacy of Valium and cause severe side effects.
If you experience any side effects, immediately report them to the doctor. If you believe you overdosed, seek emergency help immediately (call 911).
The medical history should be closely studied prior to assigning a treatment plan and administering this medication.