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Valium

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Valium

Side Effects
Interactions

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects most commonly reported were drowsiness, fatigue, muscle weakness, and ataxia. The following have also been reported:

Central Nervous System: confusion, depression, dysarthria, headache, slurred speech, tremor, vertigo

Gastrointestinal System: constipation, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances

Special Senses: blurred vision, diplopia, dizziness

Cardiovascular System: hypotension

Psychiatric and Paradoxical Reactions: stimulation, restlessness, acute hyperexcited states, anxiety, agitation, aggressiveness, irritability, rage, hallucinations, psychoses, delusions, increased muscle spasticity, insomnia, sleep disturbances, and nightmares. Inappropriate behavior and other adverse behavioral effects have been reported when using benzodiazepines. Should these occur, use of the drug should be discontinued. They are more likely to occur in children and in the elderly.

Urogenital System: incontinence, changes in libido, urinary retention

Skin and Appendages: skin reactions

Laboratories: elevated transaminases and alkaline phosphatase

Other: changes in salivation, including dry mouth, hypersalivation

Antegrade amnesia may occur using therapeutic dosages, the risk increasing at higher dosages. Amnestic effects may be associated with inappropriate behavior.

Minor changes in EEG patterns, usually low-voltage fast activity, have been observed in patients during and after Valium therapy and are of no known significance.

Because of isolated reports of neutropenia and jaundice, periodic blood counts and liver function tests are advisable during long-term therapy.

Postmarketing Experience

Injury, Poisoning and Procedural Complications

There have been reports of falls and fractures in benzodiazepine users. The risk is increased in those taking concomitant sedatives (including alcohol), and in the elderly.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Diazepam is subject to Schedule IV control under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Abuse and dependence of benzodiazepines have been reported. Addiction-prone individuals (such as drug addicts or alcoholics) should be under careful surveillance when receiving diazepam or other psychotropic agents because of the predisposition of such patients to habituation and dependence. Once physical dependence to benzodiazepines has developed, termination of treatment will be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms. The risk is more pronounced in patients on long-term therapy.

Withdrawal symptoms, similar in character to those noted with barbiturates and alcohol have occurred following abrupt discontinuance of diazepam. These withdrawal symptoms may consist of tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, headache, muscle pain, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion and irritability. In severe cases, the following symptoms may occur: derealization, depersonalization, hyperacusis, numbness and tingling of the extremities, hypersensitivity to light, noise and physical contact, hallucinations or epileptic seizures. The more severe withdrawal symptoms have usually been limited to those patients who had received excessive doses over an extended period of time. Generally milder withdrawal symptoms (e.g., dysphoria and insomnia) have been reported following abrupt discontinuance of benzodiazepines taken continuously at therapeutic levels for several months. Consequently, after extended therapy, abrupt discontinuation should generally be avoided and a gradual dosage tapering schedule followed.

Chronic use (even at therapeutic doses) may lead to the development of physical dependence: discontinuation of the therapy may result in withdrawal or rebound phenomena.

Rebound Anxiety

A transient syndrome whereby the symptoms that led to treatment with Valium recur in an enhanced form. This may occur upon discontinuation of treatment. It may be accompanied by other reactions including mood changes, anxiety, and restlessness.

Since the risk of withdrawal phenomena and rebound phenomena is greater after abrupt discontinuation of treatment, it is recommended that the dosage be decreased gradually.

Read the Valium (diazepam tablets) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Centrally Acting Agents

If Valium is to be combined with other centrally acting agents, careful consideration should be given to the pharmacology of the agents employed particularly with compounds that may potentiate or be potentiated by the action of Valium, such as phenothiazines, antipsychotics, anxiolytics/sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, narcotic analgesics, anesthetics, sedative antihistamines, narcotics, barbiturates, MAO inhibitors and other antidepressants.

Alcohol

Concomitant use with alcohol is not recommended due to enhancement of the sedative effect.

Antacids

Diazepam peak concentrations are 30% lower when antacids are administered concurrently. However, there is no effect on the extent of absorption. The lower peak concentrations appear due to a slower rate of absorption, with the time required to achieve peak concentrations on average 20 -25 minutes greater in the presence of antacids. However, this difference was not statistically significant.

Compounds Which Inhibit Certain Hepatic Enzymes

There is a potentially relevant interaction between diazepam and compounds which inhibit certain hepatic enzymes (particularly cytochrome P450 3A and 2C19). Data indicate that these compounds influence the pharmacokinetics of diazepam and may lead to increased and prolonged sedation. At present, this reaction is known to occur with cimetidine, ketoconazole, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, and omeprazole.

Phenytoin

There have also been reports that the metabolic elimination of phenytoin is decreased by diazepam.

Read the Valium Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/2/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Side Effects
Interactions
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Valium - User Reviews

Valium User Reviews

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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