One of the most prescribed drugs for the treatment of acute anxiety, valium has a host of other uses. It can treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms, relax tight muscles and uncontrolled muscular movements, and can even be used in combination with other drugs to treat convulsive disorders such as epilepsy. But it is as an anti-anxiety prescription that valium really shines.
Part of the benzodiazepine drug family, diazepam or valium operates both by reducing minor, involuntary muscle spasms to promote relaxation, and by mediating certain chemical balances in the brain.
Valium, like many prescription drugs, can have harmful interactions with other medications. Never take valium with alcohol, other hypnotics or sedatives, narcotics, oral contraceptives, opiates, or antipsychotics. Tobacco and caffeine will both decrease the efficacy of valium and should be avoided.
The most serious risk associated with valium is the potential for addiction. it can be more habit-forming than many drugs and sudden withdrawal can be accompanied by numerous unpleasant symptoms, including rebound anxiety and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, even among those taking the smallest dose. Use in combination with certain opioids can increase euphoric effects, in turn increasing the risk of psychological dependence. For these reasons, it's important to only be prescribed valium when you need it and to always follow the dosage and instructions given to you by your doctor.
Valium is not for everyone, but can sometimes be overprescribed. Everyday stress typically will not require strong anti-anxiety drugs like valium, nor should you take valium for more serious mental disorders. In any case, valium is meant for short-term use only and should never be taken for more than 12 weeks. As always, any anxiety symptoms should be discussed with a qualified physician prior to taking this drug.