Valium is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and muscle spasms. It may also be used to treat seizures, insomnia, and other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How to take
Take Valium exactly as prescribed. If you are taking Valium for epilepsy, make sure you take it every day at the same time. Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome: blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, fatigue, headaches, incoordination, short-term memory loss, weakness. Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur: severe allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); anxiety, chest pain, difficulty breathing, difficulty sleeping, difficulty speaking, hallucinations, inability to control urination, increased muscle spasms, interrupted breathing, involuntary eye movement, sleep disturbances, stimulation, sudden rage, yellowing of the skin or eyes. Symptoms may include clumsiness, coma, confusion, deep sleep, loss of consciousness, slow reflexes. If you suspect an overdose of Valium, seek medical attention immediately.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you: if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding; if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement; if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances; if you have glaucoma or a predisposition for glaucoma, liver problems, lung problems or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), muscle problems, depression, suicidal tendencies, a blood disorder known as porphyria, or a history of alcohol or other substance abuse or dependence.
Valium may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Valium with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it. Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Valium; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
If you are taking Valium for seizures, carry an ID card at all times that says you have seizure disorder and you take Valium.
If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using this medicine while you are pregnant. Valium may cause harm to the fetus. Valium is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Valium.
When used for long periods of time or at high doses, Valium may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. Talk with your doctor if Valium stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed. Some people who use Valium for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. If you stop taking Valium suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms. These may include convulsions, tremor, stomach and muscle cramps; vomiting, or sweating. Do not suddenly stop taking Valium without first checking with your doctor.
Some medicines may interact with Valium. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following: Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), rifampin, or St. John´s wort because they may decrease Valium´s effectiveness; Clozapine, diltiazem, disulfiram, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), narcotic pain relievers (eg, morphine, codeine), nefazodone, omeprazole, sodium oxybate (GHB), or valproic acid because side effects such as increased sedation and confusion may occur; Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), narcotic pain relievers (eg, morphine, codeine), sodium oxybate (GHB), succinylcholine, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Valium.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Valium may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
If you miss a dose of Valium and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your health care provider. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.