Minor and Serious Valium Side Effects Explained
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Valium is a prescription-only drug, and it contains Diazepam. Thus, we use it to treat anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, and symptoms that occur due to alcohol withdrawal. Also, it may be used in combo with other drugs to treat seizures. So, knowing about the Valium side effects can help you optimize your therapy.
Diazepam belongs to a class of drugs called Benzodiazepines. Valium increases the power of an inhibitory brain chemical called Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). Therefore, using this drug calms down the jittery nerves and causes sedation.
Table of Contents:
- What are the Common Valium Side Effects?
- Severe Side Effects of Valium Addiction
- Side Effects Of Long-Term Valium Use
- How to Reduce the Severity and Incidence of Valium Side Effects?
What are the Common Valium Side Effects?
Speaking about side effects, they are an integral part of any drug therapy. As such, it can occur as an extended form of the desired results. While there are some strange feelings with using this drug, it cannot be related to any known information about the drug. Maybe, these strange side effects are linked to your genetics.
In any case, side effects are always unintended and unpleasant in nature. Luckily, not all of them are harmful to you. Thus, some effects wear off as your body becomes used to the drug, but also some effects can persist.
For this reason, you need to talk to your doctor and get a clear view of the side effects. Overall, some of the side effects may be the sign of addiction, dependency or something severe.
The following Valium side effects are not serious in nature and tend to subside over time. However, if they persist or cause you significant distress, you need to talk to your doctor.
- Balance problems caused by spinning sensation
- Blurred vision
- Decreased sex drive
- Drowsiness, dizziness
- Dryness of mouth
- Dysarthria or slurred speech
- Inability to focus or impaired memory
- Itchy skin often with rashes
Severe Side Effects of Valium Addiction
Though not common, some side effects of Valium are severe and may be fatal at times. If you or anyone in your family using this drug and experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor immediately:
- Decreased respiration
- Excessive restlessness and aggressive behavior
- Loss of fear or taking unwanted risks
- Low moods often accompanied with suicidal or self-harming thoughts
- Mental confusion
- An occurrence of convulsions in patients who were previously non-epileptic
- Reduced or inhibited urine output
- Seeing or listening to things that do not exist in reality
- Shaking of body or limbs
- Unable to control bladder
In addition to the Valium mentioned above side effects, a small number of patients may also experience any of the following symptoms. These are less common yet severe.
- Severe mood swings
- Changes in sex drive
- Concentration problems
- Excessive agitation
- Problems with sleep, too much or too little sleep
- Severe pain in the stomach
- Continuous nausea and vomiting
- Yellowish eyes (the white portion) or skin and pale urine is a sign of some serious liver conditions
Allergic Reactions to Valium
Some patients who are allergic to Valium and any other part of the drug prep may develop severe allergic symptoms. The fact is that allergy is a medical emergency, and you need to visit your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest tightness
- Swollen face, lips, tongue or throat
Side Effects of Long-Term Valium Use
In general, Valium is given for less than four months in a row. It’s because the data regarding the usefulness of its long-term usage is inconclusive. Nonetheless, your doctor may prescribe it for a longer time after seeing your condition and response to the drug.
The most unusual side effect of long-term Valium use is Tolerance, which is followed by addiction.
Therefore, drug Tolerance develops when your body needs a larger dose of the drug to produce optimal pharmacological effects. Therefore, you can say your body becomes saturated with the drug effects.
As a result, Tolerance in most cases is admittedly an early sign of future drug dependence. So, for a drug like Valium which has a high level of abuse potential, slowly reducing the dose rather than “cold turkey” can lessen the risk of tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and ultimately the addiction.
Here are some symptoms that arise with Long Term use of Valium:
- Loss of memory or inability to store new memories
- Visual or auditory hallucinations
- Labored breathing
- Slowed heartbeat
- Heart attack
How to Reduce the Severity and Incidence of Valium Side effects?
Unfortunately, there is no way you can fully protect yourself from the unpleasant and potentially harmful side effects of this drug. Though, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it. Your doctor should above all only prescribe it after assessing your overall health status, specific health issues, and comparing them against the potential benefits. If a drug is given, it means the potential benefits are good and outweigh the side effects.
However, taking care of minor things and following your doctor’s directions is key. Thus, this only makes sure you will encounter fewer side effects but may also help to optimize the benefits.
Here are some tips that you will find helpful:
- Talk to your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. Normally, patients with a history of such abuse are more likely to become the victim of Valium addiction.
- Not all the side effects of Valium are harmful but if any of these persist, cause you significant distress or worse, you need to see your doctor immediately.
- To reduce your risk of tolerance or addiction, take it only as recommended. But remember doing so will not guarantee you won’t develop an addiction.
Addiction is a chronic disorder and requires a group effort from family, friends and healthcare professionals. A mix of medications and a healthy support system often works wonders to help you live a drug-free life. Addiction and withdrawal are very closely related. Withdrawal symptoms indicate an addiction to a particular drug.
Addiction centers have a skilled team dedicated to giving you all kinds of services, and they help you get back to normal life. The team consists of well trained and qualified physicians, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and auxiliary health care professionals. They all work together to design addiction treatment plans that are unique to your personal needs.
Experts in addiction can provide the right guidance and can help you deal with addiction or Withdrawal. Want To learn more about Valium side effects? Talk to the experts near you. Click here for more.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VALIUM: brand of diazepam TABLETS. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/013263s094lbl.pdf.
- DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES. VALIUM: INFORMED CONSENT FOR MEDICATION. 2017. https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forms1/f2/f24277v-valium.pdf.
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