Valium Dosage: How Much Valium Can Be Taken At Once?

Last Updated: July 6, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Diazepam came into being in the 1960s. Due to its reigning popularity, it is available in many homes and highly effective in treating conditions like Insomnia, Epilepsy and other muscular disorders, mental disturbances, and a host of other conditions. Street names include Vs, Benzos, Howards (named after eccentric American industrialist, Howard Hughes, also a known user of the drug), Downers (dependent on Valium dosage), Tranks (short for the tranquilizing effect).

About Diazepam Dosage in General

A New York Times article during 2012 commented on Diazepam being “the new normal.” It referenced a 1979 movie featuring Burt Reynolds hyperventilating. When asked if anyone had Valium, every single female present reached into their purse and pulled out a vial of pills.
The drug is used to meet the existing needs of the patient in question. Physicians will recommend a safe dose of Valium that proves effective in treating said conditions. Valium dosage for anxiety may increase in order to prevent the patient experiencing an episode.
The average dose of Valium range from 2-10 mg per dose and this may be ingested up to 4 times a day, depending on the condition of the patient. Diazepam is in use for procedures such as endoscopies and sedation prior to operations.
The titrated dosage of Valium prior to a procedure will reduce to 10mg or less.

Maximum, Usual and the Lowest Dose of Valium

Research undertaken by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) confirms that Diazepam can cause addiction. It reacts with the brain in a manner similar to Heroine and other opioids. Unfortunately, unlike Heroine, this drug is found in many homes.
The maximum dose of Valium is often abused due to euphoric highs achieved on the drug. One may find coordination, judgment and mental alertness impaired while on Diazepam. These can range from one being unable to stand without swaying to exhibiting aggressive behavior without provocation.
The lowest dose of Valium one can take is 2mg. If taken with alcohol, other depressant or drugs, even the lowest dose can prove fatal.
A lethal dose may cause a Valium overdose, toxicity, or, in certain cases, death. Snorting the drug could lead to an overdose as one looks for the associated high. The overdose amount is dependent on the individual’s tolerance level. One might experience symptoms like the following:

  • Speech difficulties
  • Low blood pressure and dizziness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Bowel irritation
  • Anxiety or hallucinations
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Mental depression or thoughts of suicide
  • Respiratory issues

The difficulty with breathing is one of the most dangerous effects of the drug. This can lead to a coma or even death.

The Dosage of Valium by Age and Condition

Valium dosage is dependent on the condition and the individual itself. The drug may react within 15 to 45 minutes after ingestion. The presence of food affects the absorption rate into the body. One will find Valium side effects may appear faster should the user not have eaten. One is not to chew the medication.
The average dose of Valium for children over the age of 6 months is set at 1 – 2.5mg up to 4 times a day. Parents should follow the prescription rigorously when medicating children. Children under the age of 6 months should avoid the medication altogether.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) report nearly 42% of American adults that drink also report using substances that interfere with alcohol. The study revealed that combining alcohol with certain medication like Diazepam might cause serious health risks. These were defined into the following categories:

  • Mild: Nausea or vomiting, instability and headaches
  • Serious: Respiratory difficulty, internal bleeding, and heart issues

The average dose of Valium for adults depends on the condition and treatment required. Anxiety issues may require varying doses of the drug up to 4 times a day. An average dose is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment. One may find users appear unaffected by the amount prescribed therefore the minimum dose is recommended when starting off.
When treating alcoholism, one would take the drug at 10 mg per 6 hours during the first day, then decreasing it to 5 mg 3 – 4 times a day as needed.
When treating other conditions, such as seizures, 2 – 10 mg, 3 – 4 times a day is often recommended.
Older patients with crippling conditions will start off with the lowest dosage of Diazepam i.e. 2mg up to twice daily and increase according to the prescribing physician.
Users are advised not to continue taking the medication longer than 4 months or stop taking the drug without consulting the overseeing physician.

Diazepam Dose for Preventative Use

The drug is frequently prescribed for preventative measures. Though a recreational dose may offer a user the effects they seek, including that of relaxation or a high effects of Valium, one may find a life-long dependency created through frequent usage.

Diazepam is in use for preventative measures in aiding sleeping, controlling muscular conditions like Epilepsy, treating psychiatric conditions, and many more. One is not recommended to continue taking the drug longer than a month as it is for short-term relief.
Users should beware that this drug is off limits to those with Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea results in obstructed breathing during sleep which will prove dangerous for the patient if medicating with Diazepam. The Valium dosage for sleep will start off at the lowest dose and increase should the prescribed amount not prove effective.

An Effective Drug When Used Responsibly

The drug has become a favorite point of reference in pop culture and has proved beneficial in the treatment of many conditions. It is safe for use in both adults and children over the age of 6 months. The benefits extend to older patients with crippling conditions where it may improve quality of life. At the same time, the drug may create a dependency that the user is unable to shake off without help. The dosage of Valium should only be set by a practicing physician and never adjusted alone.

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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.


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