Valium (diazepam) is a medication used for the management of anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seizures, or for the short-term relief of anxiety 2. You should not take Valium if you are pregnant, if you have an eye disorder known as acute narrow-angle glaucoma, or if you are allergic to diazepam or any other ingredient in Valium, reports PDR Health 12. There are some common side effects of valium that you should be aware of.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Drowsiness and Fatigue
Drowsiness and fatigue are common side effects while taking Valium. According to PDR Health, due to the sleepiness and tiredness Valium can cause, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this drug affects you 1. You should never take alcohol while on Valium, as it increases the effects of the medication and makes your more prone to drowsiness and fatigue. If you are taking Valium and experience severe drowsiness that inhibits your daily lifestyle, contact your health care practitioner.
- Drowsiness and fatigue are common side effects while taking Valium.
- According to PDR Health, due to the sleepiness and tiredness Valium can cause, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you know how this drug affects you 1.
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You may experience constipation while taking Valium. Eating a high fiber diet with ample fruits and vegetables, and drinking at least eight glasses of water each day may be helpful to alleviate constipation. This side effect may diminish after your body has a chance to get used to this medication.
Shakiness and Unsteady Gait
Shakiness and an unsteady walk are common side effects while taking Valium. These may lessen over time as your body adjusts to this medication. You should use caution while driving or operating machinery if you are experiencing these side effects. If these effects do not lessen over time and negatively impact your lifestyle, contact your practitioner.
- Shakiness and an unsteady walk are common side effects while taking Valium.
- You should use caution while driving or operating machinery if you are experiencing these side effects.
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- Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) Health: Valium
- Mayo Clinic: Diazepam
- Locke AB, Kirst N, Schultz C. Diagnosis and management of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder in adults. Am Fam Physician. March 2015.
- Ngo DH, Vo TS. An updated review on pharmaceutical properties of gamma-aminobutyric acid. Molecules. 2019;24(15). doi:10.3390/molecules24152678
- Genentech, Inc. Valium Prescribing Information. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2016.
- Drug Enforcement Administration. Benzodiazepines. Updated July 2019.
- Batelaan NM, Van BalkomStein AJ, Stein D. Evidence-based pharmacotherapy of panic disorder: An update. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. April 2012;15(3):403-415. doi:10.1017/S1461145711000800.
- Hoffman EJ, Mathew SJ. Anxiety disorders: A comprehensive review of pharmacotherapies. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine. 2008;75(3):248–262. doi:10.1002/msj.20041.
- Silverman HM. The Pill Book. 14th ed. New York, NY: Bantam Books; 2010.
Laura Candelaria is a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing and nutritional science. Her experience includes neonatal and pediatric intensive-care, women's oncology, gynecology, obstetrics, lactation, nutrition and infertility. She has been published in "Nursing Spectrum," "Newsday" and on various websites.