"What are benzodiazepines, and how do they work?
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs primarily used for treating anxiety, but they also are effective in treating several other conditions. The exact mechanism of action of benzodiaz"...
Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine derivative. The chemical name of diazepam is 7-chloro-1,3-dihydro-1-methyl-5-phenyl-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin2-one. It is a colorless to light yellow crystalline compound, insoluble in water. The empirical formula is C16H13ClN2O and the molecular weight is 284.75. The structural formula is as follows:
Valium is available for oral administration as tablets containing 2 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg diazepam. In addition to the active ingredient diazepam, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, corn starch, pregelatinized starch and calcium stearate with the following dyes: 5-mg tablets contain FD&C Yellow No. 6 and D&C Yellow No. 10; 10-mg tablets contain FD&C Blue No. 1. Valium 2-mg tablets contain no dye.
What are the possible side effects of diazepam (Valium)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
- unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger;
- depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- hyperactivity, agitation, aggression, hostility;
- new or worsening seizures;
- weak or shallow breathing;
- a feeling like you might pass...
What are the precautions when taking diazepam tablets (Valium)?
Before taking diazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, lorazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: glaucoma (narrow-angle), a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis), breathing trouble during sleep (sleep apnea).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, lung/breathing problems (e.g., COPD), drug or alcohol abuse,...
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/2/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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