Valium Side Effects & Warnings

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on August 24, 2023

Valium is a benzodiazepine that acts as a central nervous system depressant. Proper use can cause drowsiness and other relatively mild side effects, but abuse can be dangerous with the potential to cause respiratory depression and even death.

Valium (the brand name for diazepam) is a benzodiazepine prescription drug which can be used as an anticonvulsant and sedative. Valium may be prescribed to those suffering from certain anxiety disorders or acute alcohol withdrawal.

Valium is a Schedule IV controlled substance, meaning it has habit-forming potential which can create psychological or physical dependence. This is one of the many reasons why Valium is prescribed for short-term use instead of long-term use.

Side Effects Of Valium

Valium is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, providing sedation and calming effects. However, when abused or not taken as prescribed, the effects of diazepam can extend far beyond sedation.

In fact, if a person abuses Valium by injecting, snorting, plugging, or smoking the drug, life-threatening health concerns may take place.

Common Side Effects

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of the common side effects associated with Valium include:

  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • ataxia
  • muscle weakness
  • constipation
  • lightheadedness
  • sleepiness
  • general impairment
  • blurred vision
  • muscle spasms

Next Day Side Effects

Those who take Valium can experience next day side effects, which may include:

  • fatigue or grogginess
  • rebound anxiety
  • withdrawal symptoms like trouble sleeping
  • cramps
  • nausea or vomiting

Abusing Valium may result in more serious side effects including suicidal thoughts, breathing problems, or a Valium overdose.

Valium Warnings

Whether you’re prescribed Valium or participate in prescription drug abuse, there are a variety of warnings associated with taking the drug.

Worsened Medical Conditions

One of the warnings associated with Valium use includes women who are pregnant. Pregnant women should avoid Valium, as well as those who are breastfeeding. This is because breast milk can be passed from mother to child, resulting in harm to the baby.

Those with the following health conditions should also avoid Valium:

  • liver disease
  • conditions which cause trouble breathing such as sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or asthma
  • myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder)
  • narrow-angle glaucoma
  • older adults who may require a low dose of the drug
  • certain mental health disorders

Buying Valium On The Black Market

Those obtaining Valium on the street may receive contaminated tablets due to the lack of quality control involved. This can result in consuming illicit drugs or other substances which can prove to be fatal even in small quantities.

Traces of fentanyl, for instance, may contaminate the Valium you purchased on the drug market. This can lead to severe issues such as an accidental overdose.

Valium Overdose

Life-threatening health problems may occur in those who take a large dose of diazepam, whether taken orally or an alternative method.

Those suffering from a Valium overdose may experience symptoms such as:

  • low blood pressure
  • fluctuations in heart rate
  • confusion
  • respiratory depression
  • loss of consciousness
  • death

Taking larger doses of Valium than prescribed may lead to an increased risk of overdose. If an overdose is suspected, seek urgent medical attention.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions or allergic reactions may occur when a person combines certain substances with Valium. Speak with your healthcare provider before combining any of the following with Valium:

  • other benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) or clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • muscle relaxants
  • certain antidepressants
  • opioids
  • phenytoin
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as fluvoxamine, ketoconazole, omeprazole
  • antihistamines
  • over-the-counter pain medications
  • vitamins or supplements
  • barbiturates

Valium Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one are seeking specialized treatment options for your drug use, consider Ohio Recovery Center. At our treatment center, we provide a wide-range of treatment plans for you to consider.

For instance, we offer evidence-based care, medical detox, and aftercare services. To begin your road to recovery, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  4. National Library of Medicine: DailyMed
  5. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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