Baclofen vs. Valium

Are Baclofen and Valium the Same Thing?

Baclofen and Valium (diazepam) are used for treating muscle spasms.

Baclofen is specifically used to treat muscle clonus, rigidity, and pain caused by multiple sclerosis. Baclofen is also injected into the spinal cord to treat severe spasticity, spinal cord injuries, and other spinal cord diseases.

Valium is also used to treat anxiety, seizures, and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Brand names for baclofen include Lioresal and Gablofen.

Baclofen and Valium belong to different drug classes. Baclofen is a muscle relaxant and antispastic and Valium is a benzodiazepine.

Side effects of baclofen and Valium that are similar include drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tiredness, nausea, and constipation.

Side effects of baclofen that are different from Valium include headache, seizures, vomiting, low blood pressure, confusion, respiratory depression, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and increased urinary frequency or urinary retention.

Side effects of Valium that are different from baclofen include spinning sensation, fatigue, loss of balance, memory problems, restlessness, irritability, drooling, dry mouth, slurred speech, blurred or double vision, skin rash, itching, or loss of interest in sex.

Both baclofen and Valium may interact with alcohol and other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (sleeping pills, narcotics, prescription cough medicines, muscle relaxers, or medicines for anxiety, depression, or seizures).

Valium may also interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

Suddenly stopping baclofen or Valium may cause withdrawal symptoms including seizures.

Brand names for baclofen include Gablofen and Lioresal.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Baclofen?

Common side effects of Baclofen include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Forgetfulness or amnesia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Skin rash

What Are Possible Side Effects of Valium?

Common side effects of Valium include:

  • drowsiness,
  • tired feeling,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • fatigue,
  • constipation,
  • ataxia (loss of balance),
  • memory problems,
  • restlessness,
  • irritability,
  • muscle weakness,
  • nausea,
  • drooling,
  • dry mouth,
  • slurred speech,
  • blurred or double vision,
  • skin rash,
  • itching, or
  • loss of interest in sex.

What Is Baclofen?

Baclofen (lorazepam) is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms.

What Is Valium?

Valium is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.

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What Drugs Interact With Baclofen?

Benzodiazepines like Baclofen produce increased CNS (central nervous system) depressant effects when administered with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, antipsychotics, sedative/hypnotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, narcotic analgesics, sedative antihistamines, anticonvulsants, and anesthetics.

What Drugs Interact With Valium?

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.

How Should Baclofen Be Taken?

Baclofen can be taken with or without food. Baclofen tablets should be swallowed with water.

How Should Valium Be Taken?

Take Valium exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much Valium to take and when to take it.

Talk to your healthcare provider about slowly stopping Valium to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

If you take too much Valium, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

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References


Novartis. Baclofen Product Information.

http://www.ask.novartispharma.ca/download.htm?res=lioresal_scrip_e.pdf&resTitleId=802

FDA. Valium Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/013263s094lbl.pdf

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