Valium Alternatives – What Are The Other Options?

Last Updated: July 6, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Valium can be a dangerous and addictive drug when misused, which is why it is sometimes necessary to find an effective alternative. There are many drugs like Valium, that can be effective in helping through the pain. Valium alternatives range from over the counter substitutes, to naturally found substitutes. Each Valium alternative will have its advantages and disadvantages. This article aims to explain the other available options for someone who is looking to diverge from Valium to another drug.

Why Find Valium Alternatives?

Valium different-colors pills alternatives Valium is a drug that is often prescribed as a way to help relax those suffering from anxiety. Often known by the name Diazepam, this depressant slows brain activity by enhancing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In turn, this helps to reduce anxiety in the individual who has taken Valium. However, for all its positive effects, Valium is addictive. This is one reason why it is often a requirement to find alternatives to Valium when dealing with anxiety.
Another reason why diazepam alternatives are needed is that a regular user can build up a tolerance to the drug. Someone who regularly uses Valium to overcome their anxiety may soon find that their body adjusts to the drug and therefore the effects are lessened. This means that it becomes necessary to take more Valium and can put the person at risk of overdose.
Patients may also need an over the counter Valium alternative. This may be necessary due to the interactions Valium has with other drugs. Furthermore, according to The US National Library of Medicine, Valium shouldn’t be taken by those over the age of 65. This could be another reason for seeking out a diazepam alternative.

What are the Drugs Similar to Valium?

Due to Valium being addictive and users building up the tolerance, alternatives are needed. There are a few drugs similar to Valium that can be used as those alternatives. Each of the following drugs has both positive and negative factors surrounding them, and none of them should be used in higher doses than they are prescribed in.
Ativan. This drug is useful for relieving short-term anxiety. However, tolerance is built up very quickly, and it should not be used excessively. Like, many medications for anxiety, Ativan can cause memory issues, drowsiness, and fatigue. However, on a positive note, Ativan works well with most other medications.
Xanax. It has many similarities with Ativan, in that it is highly effective in the short term. In fact, it works even faster than Ativan. However, it is also highly addictive and can cause memory loss, somnambulism, and drowsiness.
Baclofen. This drug has low abuse potential. However, it can also cause drowsiness, nausea, and fatigue. Also, Baclofen has also been known to cause psychosis in users, such as hallucinations and delusions.
Prozac. This medication is commonly used for depression but can also be useful when it comes to anxiety. Although Prozac is another alternative, it has a large number of potential side effects, such as nausea, headaches, lethargy and more.
Buspirone. It is an anti-anxiety medication, which has similar strengths to Xanax. However, it also can cause memory loss and drowsiness.

The Natural Alternatives to Valium

Woman exercising near mountain.Along with over the counter Valium alternatives, there are also natural alternatives to Valium. Natural Valium substitutes have many benefits, such as being less addictive and not causing the user to relapse into a state worse than the one they were originally in.
Some examples of natural substitutes for Valium are:

  • Magnesium – Many people suffer the psychological issues of depression and anxiety’s worst effects due to their diet. Foods such as milk or fish provide magnesium which is invaluable to the body and will help ward away anxiety.
  • Meditation – Taking some time away to meditate helps considerably with anxiety. Meditation helps to calm, soothe and give perspective on every worry causing matter. Best of all, it’s far cheaper!
  • Exercise – It sounds obvious, but activities help to produce positive chemicals in the body, these endorphins help to decrease anxiety and depression, as well as to improve mood.
  • Vitamin and Herbal Supplements – There are various supplements out there that will help to calm as well as giving the body the nutrients it needs to fight out anxiety.

Using these natural alternatives to Valium is often be far more effective than over the counter options. This is because they are often substances the body is designed to deal with. Not only that, by using a natural substitute to Valium, one will not experience the panic, the addiction, relapse, reliance, tolerance or even cost that Valiums drug based substitutes will bring.

Valium Substitutes – The Best Option

Whatever the reason is person decides to move on from Valium, it will be necessary to decide what the most suitable substitute is. Each alternative has its benefits, as well as its consequences. Many of the drugs will be faster to have an impact on anxiety than the natural options. However, Valiums drug based substitutes may cause one to face the same addiction and tolerance based issues that Valium itself caused. Whereas, the natural alternatives will not.
In the end, the best option for an individual will depend on circumstances and whether one is happy to accept a slower solution without the negative consequences.

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Published on: April 19th, 2018

Updated on: July 6th, 2020

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


Leave a comment

  • Vickie
    I have Menieres disease, tinnitus and I get very sick and dizzy on occasion. Is there any over the counter meds that will help with the problem?
  • Louise
    I am 79 years old. Drs started giving me Valium in my 20s because of bad panic attacks. I now have stage 4 breast cancer and live in extreem back pain. My dr of 10 years had me on Valium and hidrocodon. But a few months ago he said I can’t take both. I need the pain meds for my bad back but I’m having a really hard time getting off of the Valium. I’m under so much stress now and I don’t know what to do. I never asked for Valium. The drs always told me to take it.
  • Bill
    Extremely active person and worker. Surgery on shoulder. Out now for 7 weeks with maybe 6 to go. Try to keep busy, but get extreme restless brain, and panic attacks all day. Anxiety is outrageous alone or with people. Tried so many otc; St. John wort, Calm, Magnesium, Camomile. Nothing. Do I see a Doctor?
  • Anne Palino
    I am looking for a natural remedy for my quadrapalegic son. He was prescribed valium to help with his spasms. We moved to a new state and he is having trouble getting this particular drug. What is the best natural remedy?
    • Nate B
      My cousin was in an accident years ago, ensured a traumatic brain injury.. after a few years of suffering episodes of convulsions, seizures or seizure like experiences, along with other negative side effects, my other cousin (his older brother) moved to Colorado with him and they have had access to safe, quality THC as well as CBD infused products. He doesn’t even smoke it or anything it’s usually some edible candy or sometimes I have seen him drink an infused drink and, WOW! The difference in how far he has truly come when I think about how miserable he was back in Texas, it just reinforced for me personally that the benefits to our biological composition as humans is undeniable! There is no question he has improved drastically from the availability of ‘Marijuana Maintanence.’ I mean, he’s not even taking Pain Medications anymore (he hadn’t been for awhile before anyways but now he really doesn’t need them!) and then, ontop of everything else, all the different anti-convulsion / benzodiazepine meds he was cycling through just even 18 months ago, or less, are no longer needed! Although I do believe that when he goes for his annual quarterly (Every 3 Months) checkups with his doctors, that they give him a new bottle of 10 mg blue diazepam (valium) which he almost never ever has to even use, but still he has them still just Incase…they only give him 30 for every 3 months and no joke he brings the bottle in with him at his checkups and the shows the doctors how few of them he uses! (If he ever uses any at all, it has only been for when he has experienced a severe migraine and just takes one or two max along with something like ‘Sumatriptan’ I think? It’s injectable but it’s only for his migraines… anyways sorry for the novel lol but I’m now such an advocate for the OBVIOUS medicinal advantages we can obtain from just another one of the many useful natural remedies that Mother Earth provides naturally, that our human bodies seem to respond much more positively to, rather than a handful of these synthetically created drugs with more side effects than relief symptoms….
  • Margaret Evan's
    My son is an alcoholic at the moment needs a can in front of him or very anxious..he wants to stop to get back to work but knows he can our do it with thiamine ( which he has ,)) or valium ( which we dont ) I’m 78 he is 50 I’m the one that gets his drink lager or he keeps nagging me we need help but I dont know what to do anymore he wants to stop but knows the consequences..
    • Kim
      I don’t know what state you are in but many times you can go to the dr and just be totally honest. Tell him that your son wants to stop drinking and can’t do it without help. They should prescribe him something. Also you might ask at AA what dr they are using if your dr won’t prescribe it for him. Hope this helps.
  • Johnny
    What is the best tablet to valuim alternative