What is Valium?
Valium is a benzodiazepine derivative. It is the brand name for diazepam, a crystalline compound white to light yellow in color and insoluble in water. Valium tablets are available for oral administration in the strength of 5mg and 10mg of diazepam. Tablets contain inactive ingredients including corn starch, anhydrous lactose, pregelatinized starch, calcium stearate, and color additives- 5mg contain FD&C Yellow No. 6, and D&C Yellow No. 10 and 10mg include FD&C Blue No. 1.
What is the use of Valium?
Valium is helpful in treating various problems, including:
- Anxiety Disorder: Valium treats anxiety disorder and provides short term relief from the symptoms of anxiety.
- Acute alcohol withdrawal: Valium is useful for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, anxiety, and seizures.
- Muscle spasm: Valium relieves skeletal muscle spasm occurring due to inflammation of muscles and joints.
- Premedication in endoscopic procedures: Valium adjunctively relieves the symptoms of anxiety or stress in patients undergoing endoscopic procedures.
- Preoperational sedative: Valium treats the symptoms of tension and anxiety in patients undergoing major operations or surgeries.
- Adjunct in convulsive disorders: Oral Valium is helpful adjunctively in seizure disorders, but it is not useful as a sole therapy.
How is it used?
Take the doses as prescribed. Doctors individualize dosage to achieve maximum benefits. In case of need for higher than usual doses, titrate doses cautiously to avoid the chances of adverse effects.
The usual daily dosage of Valium can be:
- For the management of anxiety disorder and relief of symptoms of anxiety, give 2mg to 10mg two to four times a day, based upon the severity of the patient's condition.
- For symptomatic relief in acute alcohol withdrawal, initiate the dose with 10mg given three to four times during the first 24 hours. Reduce the dose to 5mg given three to four times a day.
- Adjunctively for relief of skeletal muscle spasm, give 2mg to 10mg three to four times a day, as needed.
- Adjunctively in seizure disorders, give 2mg to 10mg two to four times a day as required by the patient.
- For elderly or debilitating patients, initiate the doses with 2mg to 2.5mg given one to two times daily. Increase the doses gradually as tolerated and needed by the patient. Be extra cautious while titrating the dosage as geriatric or debilitating patients are more prone to the severe side effects of Valium tablets.
What are the common side effects of Valium?
Severe side effects of Valium include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Unsteady walk
- Agitation and anxiety
- Infrequent urination
- Skin rashes and reactions
- Loss of appetite.