Generic Name: Diazepam Tablets (dye AZ e pam)
Brand Name: Valium
- This medicine is a benzodiazepine. The use of a benzodiazepine drug along with opioid drugs has led to very bad side effects. Side effects that have happened include slowed or trouble breathing and death. Opioid drugs include drugs like codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. Opioid drugs are used to treat pain and some are used to treat cough. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are taking Valium (diazepam tablets) with an opioid drug, get medical help right away if you feel very sleepy or dizzy; if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing; or if you pass out. Caregivers or others need to get medical help right away if the patient does not respond, does not answer or react like normal, or will not wake up.
Uses of Valium:
- It is used to calm muscles.
- It is used to treat alcohol withdrawal.
- It is used to treat anxiety.
- It is used to help control certain kinds of seizures.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Valium?
For all patients taking this medicine:
- If you have an allergy to diazepam or any other part of Valium.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Breathing problems, glaucoma, liver disease, myasthenia gravis, or sleep apnea.
- If you have psychosis.
- If you have recently drunk a lot of alcohol or taken a big amount of drugs that may slow your actions like phenobarbital or some pain drugs like oxycodone.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this medicine. You may also need to avoid breast-feeding for some time after your last dose. Talk with your doctor to see if you need to avoid breast-feeding after your last dose.
- If your child is younger than 6 months of age. Do not give Valium to an infant younger than 6 months of age.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Valium with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Valium?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how Valium affects you.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- If you are 65 or older, use Valium with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- Do not change the dose or stop this medicine. This could cause seizures. Talk with your doctor.
- If you have been taking Valium on a regular basis and you stop it all of a sudden, you may have signs of withdrawal. Do not stop taking this medicine all of a sudden without calling your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on Valium (diazepam tablets) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this medicine, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Valium) best taken?
Use Valium as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take this medicine on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Many times Valium is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
- Shortness of breath.
- Change in balance.
- Feeling confused.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Memory problems or loss.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- If seizures are worse or not the same after starting this medicine.
- Muscle spasm.
- Not able to sleep.
- Change in eyesight.
What are some other side effects of Valium?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Muscle weakness.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Valium?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Valium is refilled. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Valium or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Valium. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Review Date: September 6, 2017
More about Valium (diazepam)
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- Drug class: benzodiazepine anticonvulsants