Valium is one of the most popular medicines that are often prescribed to treat sleeplessness, muscle spasm or anxiety. It’s a sedative-hypnotic drug. Sometimes it’s used in management of withdrawal from alcohol. This benzodiazepine has numerous side effects on the patient’s body. These effects can be grouped by the time and level of influence.
Valium works in a brain of people who are suffering from mentioned earlier conditions. It acts by potentiating the effects of a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system known as GABA. This medicine has been prescribed for a long time in the short-term for its anti-anxiety and anti-convulsing properties.
Talk to your doctor before taking Valium. Inform your health care provider if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, asthma or other breathing problems, seizures, depression, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction, kidney disease, mental illness, liver disease, or suicidal thoughts. If you are allergic to any component of this medicine, you shouldn’t take it. Even if you had allergic reaction to such drugs as Knopilin, Xanax, Ativan or Restoril in the past, avoid treatment with Valium.
Taking Valium during pregnancy may cause harm to an unborn baby. The decision to be treated with diazepam when you are pregnant has to be very wise, because there is a risk of harm both the mother and the baby in case of having a seizure during pregnancy. If you become pregnant and take diazepam for seizures at this time, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Children younger than 6 months old shouldn’t be given this medication.
In case of treating alcohol withdrawal, anxiety or muscle spasms during pregnancy, and your baby could become dependent on the drug. After baby is born, this fact can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. It is sometimes required several weeks of medical treatment for babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine such as valium. Also the fact that Diazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby makes taking this drug during breastfeeding more questionable. Do not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Because Valium may be habit-forming, not appropriate use of it can cause addiction, overdose and in some cases even death. It has numerous effects on the body. Those side effects can be dangerous, especially when the drug is misused or abused.
As a result of its depressant effects, valium has become very popular among people who are seeking to get high. To increase its influence, many abusers can combine this drug with alcohol and other different substances. Abuse is usually recognized in cases when:
- Patients take bigger dose than prescribed or more often that prescribed
- Patient takes drug when it’s not prescribed at all
- Patient takes this drug via alternate methods (crushing, snorting).
If taken properly, Valium does not give you same side effects as it does when misused. In this case those side effects are temporary and they are expected to go away after a few standard doses.
The most common Valium side effects include:
- dry mouth (feeling that you need to drink all time or swallow)
- appetite changes (increasing or unusual decreasing that affects your health and life)
- confusion (lack of understanding; uncertainty)
- slurred (slow)speech
- trouble urinating
- blurred vision (unable to see clearly)
- delayed reflexes
- decreased memory consolidation
- decreased respiratory rate
- changes in heart rate/rhythm.
Valium is usually prescribed for the short-time taking, less than four months. But if it’s necessary to be treated by this medicine for longer time, some powerful effects on the body and brain can occur.
These long-term Valium side effects of valium treatment can include:
- heart attack (permanent damage of heart muscle cells)
- difficulty breathing
- hallucinations (experiencing of the apparent perception of something that is not present)
- slowed pulse
- memory loss (short-term or long-term memory)
- coma (a state of deep unconsciousness that lasts for a prolonged or indefinite period).
Lasting health effects of Valium include such conditions as:
- valium dependence
- aggressive behavior
- further drug abuse
- cognitive deficits
- psychotic experiences
Taking Valium patients have to be aware that their brain can quickly become dependent on the providing by the d rug effects. Some patients start to take more than prescribed to reach same effect that the drug had on them in the beginning of the treatment. This misuse can lead to Valium overdose.
Diazepam is the generic name for Valium. It has the same effect on person as original drug. A long time ago in 1985 diazepam was approved as a generic after patent on Valium expired. Sometimes it is prescribed to treat convulsions along with other medications.
Don’t drink alcohol while taking Valium because this combination can make side effects of this drug more severe. Also this medicine can interact with a lot of other medications. This drug works different in people older than 65 years old. Talk with your doctor about other options that may work for instead of Valium.
Research shows that the most common Diazepam side effects are muscle weakness, fatigue, drowsiness, and clumsiness. If you experience any unusual side effects, inform your health care provider. Among them can be headache, nausea, nightmares, and diarrhea. In addition to those, watch for restlessness, dizziness, loss of interest in sex, sleep disturbance. Actually you have to be aware of any weird feeling during treatment by Valium to decrease the risk of serious side effects.
Seek immediate medical help or call your doctor right away if you have anything from following list:
- swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- panic attack
- worsening depression
- inability to pass urine
- delusions (believing things that are not true)
- trouble breathing or swallowing
- extreme weakness or drowsiness.
The main danger of taking Valium continually is that the body builds a tolerance to this drug pretty quick. In this case it makes it harder with every time to reach the same effect with the same amount of Valium. The risk of severe addiction and overdose can occur because user will need to take increasing doses. That is the big sign of addiction that needs to be discussed with a doctor.