Skip to Content

Valium (diazepam) and Alcohol / Food Interactions

There are 4 alcohol/food/lifestyle interactions with Valium (diazepam) which include:

diazepam ↔ Caffeine

Minor Drug Interaction

Consumer information for this minor interaction is not currently available. Some minor drug interactions may not be clinically relevant in all patients. Minor drug interactions do not usually cause harm or require a change in therapy. However, your healthcare provider can determine if adjustments to your medications are needed.

For clinical details see professional interaction data.

diazepam ↔ Alcohol (Ethanol)

Moderate Drug Interaction

Using diazepam together with ethanol can increase nervous system side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with diazepam. Do not use more than the recommended dose of diazepam, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medication without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

diazepam ↔ food

Moderate Food Interaction

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

GENERALLY AVOID: Acute alcohol ingestion may potentiate the CNS depression and other CNS effects of many benzodiazepines. Tolerance may develop with chronic ethanol use. The mechanism may be decreased clearance of the benzodiazepines because of CYP450 hepatic enzyme inhibition. Also, it has been suggested that the cognitive deficits induced by benzodiazepines may be increased in patients who chronically consume large amounts of alcohol.

MONITOR: Grapefruit juice may increase the plasma concentrations of orally administered drugs that are substrates of the CYP450 3A4 isoenzyme. However, the interaction seems to affect primarily those drugs that undergo significant presystemic metabolism by CYP450 3A4 (i.e., drugs with low oral bioavailability), presumably due to the fact that grapefruit juice inhibits intestinal rather than hepatic CYP450 3A4. Because pharmacokinetic interactions involving grapefruit juice are often subject to a high degree of interpatient variability, the extent to which a given patient may be affected is difficult to predict.

MANAGEMENT: Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol during benzodiazepine therapy. Patients who regularly consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice should be monitored for adverse effects and altered plasma concentrations of drugs that undergo significant presystemic metabolism by CYP450 3A4. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided if an interaction is suspected. Orange juice is not expected to interact with these drugs.


  1. Yamreudeewong W, Henann NE, Fazio A, Lower DL, Cassidy TG "Drug-food interactions in clinical practice." J Fam Pract 40 (1995): 376-84
  2. Zaidenstein R, Soback S, Gips M, Avni B, Dishi V, Weissgarten Y, Golik A, Scapa E "Effect of grapefruit juice on the pharmacokinetics of losartan and its active metabolite E3174 in healthy volunteers." Ther Drug Monit 23 (2001): 369-73
  3. Josefsson M, Zackrisson AL, Ahlner J "Effect of grapefruit juice on the pharmacokinetics of amlodipine in healthy volunteers." Eur J Clin Pharmacol 51 (1996): 189-93
View all 34 references


Moderate Potential Hazard, High plausibility

benzodiazepines - obesity

The plasma half-lives of benzodiazepines may be prolonged in obese patients, presumably due to increased distribution into fat. Marked increases in distribution (> 100%) have been reported for diazepam and midazolam, and moderate increases (25% to 100%) for alprazolam, lorazepam, and oxazepam. Therapy with benzodiazepines should be administered cautiously in obese patients, with careful monitoring of CNS status. Longer dosing intervals may be appropriate. When dosing by weight, loading doses should be based on actual body weight, while maintenance dose should be based on ideal body weight to avoid toxicity.


  1. "Product Information. Tranxene (clorazepate)." Abbott Pharmaceutical, Abbott Park, IL.
  2. "Product Information. Librium (chlordiazepoxide)." Roche Laboratories, Nutley, NJ.
  3. "Product Information. Ativan (lorazepam)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.
View all 14 references

You should also know about...

Valium (diazepam) drug Interactions

There are 878 drug interactions with Valium (diazepam)

Valium (diazepam) disease Interactions

There are 10 disease interactions with Valium (diazepam) which include:

Drug Interaction Classification

The classifications below are a general guideline only. It is difficult to determine the relevance of a particular drug interaction to any individual given the large number of variables.

Major Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.
Moderate Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.
Minor Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.

Do not stop taking any medications without consulting your healthcare provider.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Multum is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. Multum's information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Multum Information Services, Inc. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. Copyright 2000-2015 Multum Information Services, Inc. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.