Valium, also called diazepam, is used to relieve anxiety and panic attacks and to control some types of seizures in children, teenagers, and adults. Valium can also be prescribed to reduce the side effects of alcohol withdrawal.
Valium comes as a regular tablet, extended-release tablet, or a liquid concentrate; a doctor will help patients select the form that is best for them. Valium is usually taken one to four times per day for a short time period (usually less than four months total). The liquid concentrate form needs to be diluted with water or another beverage before you take it; you can also mix it into pudding or applesauce if desired.
Valium can be habit forming and should be taken only as directed by your doctor. If you have or have ever had glaucoma, seizures, or heart, kidney, or lung disease, you should talk to your doctor about these conditions before you take this drug. If you are over age sixty-five, you should not take this medication; you may need to use a different medication to control your symptoms.
Valium may interact with other medications or supplements, including antihistamines, some antibiotics, antidepressants, herbal remedies like St. John's Wort, vitamins, oral contraceptives, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and more. If you are taking any other prescription drugs or supplements, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication.
If you experience serious or severe side effects from Valium, you should call your doctor. Serious side effects may include:
Less serious side effects may include:
If you take Valium regularly, you should not stop taking it abruptly. Since Valium can cause dependency issues, you should talk to your doctor before reducing or discontinuing this medication. You can reduce the symptoms you feel during withdrawal by slowly tapering off over time. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:
Page content reviewed by James Pendleton, ND
Last Update: 12-22-2014
Articles about Valium (Diazepam)