Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.
Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms.
Valium is sometimes used with other medications to treat seizures.
You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam or similar medicines (Klonopin, Xanax, and others), or if you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea.
MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use Valium with opioid medicine, alcohol, or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam or similar drugs (Klonopin, Xanax, and others), or if you have:
- myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder);
- severe liver disease;
- a severe breathing problem
- sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep); or
- alcoholism, or addiction to drugs similar to diazepam.
- To make sure Valium is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
- kidney or liver disease;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- a drug or alcohol addiction; or
- mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior.
When treating seizures, do not start or stop taking Valium during pregnancy without your doctor's advice. Diazepam may cause harm to an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both the mother and the baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Valium for seizures.
When treating anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, or muscle spasms: If you take this medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Josette Davignon
Last updated: 24.01.2022
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