Generic Name: diazepam (dye AZ e pam)
Brand Names: Valium
What is Valium?
Valium is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Valium is used in the management of anxiety disorders. It may also be used to treat agitation, shakiness, and hallucinations during alcohol withdrawal and to relieve certain types of muscle pain.
Valium may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Valium
You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam, or if you have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, a severe breathing problem, or sleep apnea. This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use Valium if you are pregnant.
Before taking Valium, tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, asthma or other breathing problems, kidney or liver disease, seizures, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Valium. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.
Never take more of this medication than your doctor has prescribed. An overdose of Valium can be fatal.
Valium may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Thus medicine should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Valium?
Valium may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Valium should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. You should not use Valium if you are allergic to diazepam, or if you have:
- myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder);
- severe liver disease;
- narrow-angle glaucoma;
- a severe breathing problem; or
- sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep).
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take Valium. Before taking diazepam, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
- kidney or liver disease;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- a history of mental illness, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
FDA pregnancy category D. Valium can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine while you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. Diazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The sedative effects of Valium may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking this medication. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 months old