Valium (also known as diazepam) is a prescription drug that is used to treat symptoms of anxiety, mood disorders, alcohol withdrawal, and certain seizures. It is also used as a mild sedative prior to some medical procedures and as a muscle relaxant to control muscular spasms. It is important that you become aware as to what are the side effects of Valium if you are prescribed this medication, and to understand the risk of addiction that is associated with taking this drug.
Valium can cause you to become drowsy, dizzy, clumsy, or have blurred vision. If you are given this medication by your doctor and experience these somewhat common side effects, speak with your medical provider if these symptoms continue or become worsened.
Diazepam is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Valium works to calm anxiety by dissuading neurons in the brain from firing. It helps increase the levels of the neuronal messenger, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a receptor that slows down and helps stop abnormal brain activity. The result is a calmed, relaxed state, though anyone taking this drug should be aware of knowing what are the side effects of Valium, which can be serious. This drug is a central nervous system depressant that interacts with neurotransmitters to reduce arousal and alter emotions. This medication also dampens the electrical post-discharge in the amygdala and hippocampus brain regions that regulate emotions.
A prescribed dose of Valium reaches its full effect in the bloodstream at about one hour after taking it by mouth.
Understanding what are the side effects of Valium is important for all users of this medication. Some Valium side effects, however, are associated with Valium addiction and abuse and can become quite serious.
You may have a Valium addiction that requires drug treatment if you:
Valium may be used in a medical detox setting to help with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
When someone is abusing Valium, they will likely show signs of Valium addiction. A breakdown in appearance and hygiene may be noticed. A slowing of movements and speech patterns take place. Other symptoms of addiction include:
When someone who is addicted to Valium discontinues its use, they can experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Aside from the above noted symptoms of Valium addiction, Valium side effects upon withdrawal from this drug can cause you to experience gastrointestinal discomfort and upset, aches and cramps, increased anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, an increase in sensitivities to lights, smells, sounds, and tastes, visual disturbances, and panic attacks. Withdrawal from Valium without appropriate detox treatment and supervision can also lead to seizures or death.
These disturbing Valium side effects from withdrawal usually occur when someone has suddenly stopped taking the drug without supervision. Going through a detox process in a treatment center for recovery is the best route for overcoming a Valium addiction and readjusting the brain to a lack of diazepam. If you are experiencing issues with Valium addiction or dependence, it's important that you enter a supervised medical recovery program to safely bring you back to health.