Valium / Diazepam Side Effects

Valium / Diazepam Side Effects

Side effects, also referred to as adverse events are unexpected or unwanted reactions patients have when using a medication. They are common occurrences that vary in intensity and type; thus, FDA-approved treatments like diazepam / Valium have a comprehensive list of side effects disclosed in an enclosed leaflet when the tablet is purchased.

Diazepam side effects can occur for several reasons and some of the leading causes are listed below:

  • First time patients are likely to experience mild side effects for a short time (a couple of hours to days) until the body becomes accustomed to the treatment.
  • Abruptly discontinuing the use of the tablet can cause side effects. Patients who want to discontinue the use of the tablet must follow a tapering off schedule.
  • When doses are increased or decreased for any reason, side effects may occur as the body tries to become familiar with the varying amounts of new compounds being introduced into the system.
  • Health conditions, situations or drug interactions.
  • An allergic reaction to the tablet itself or the ingredients it contains.

Common Diazepam Side Effects

Before diazepam tablets came onto the market, the FDA scrutinised many aspects of the tablet to safeguard patients. One of the aspects that were investigated is the tablets side effect rate. Although the tablet has a low side effect occurrence rate, the law still requires them to be disclosed.

Common diazepam side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Loss of Muscle Coordination

These side effects have a less severe impact, making them more manageable and tolerable. Patients who experience these side effects often use home remedies to treat them.

Side Effects Home Remedy
Dizziness Patients who experience dizziness can employ the epley manoeuvre to get rid of the effect. They must keep hydrated and refrain from eating sugary snacks or fatty foods. An apple cider vinegar and honey mix can be consumed as well, or almonds can be chewed every 20-30 minutes until the feeling passes.
Drowsiness Drowsiness can be eliminated by doing simple movements like walking. A short nap or an energy-boosting snack is recommended if the drowsiness is excessive.
Indigestion The consumption of any one of these drinks can eliminate indigestion.
  • Peppermint tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ginger
  • Fennel seed
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Lemon water
Nausea Nausea can be minimised by positioning the body differently or increasing oxygen intake through deep breathing. A cold compress can be used at the temples or base of the neck. Alternatively, patients can suck on/eat ice chips or sip on water. If nausea persists, the next dose must be taken with a light meal.
Loss Of Muscle Coordination Patients can quickly get rid of this feeling by resting, using an ice pack to relieve tension, using a compression bandage, if there is muscle swelling and elevating the feet to minimise the possibility of inflammation.
Diazepam Side Effects

Uncommon Diazepam Side Effects

Uncommon diazepam side effects are usually the result of treatment / medical condition interactions, ignorance to dosage / usage instructions or an allergic reaction. Like other treatments, diazepam cannot be used in conjunction with certain medicines, medical conditions or situations. Some of these which apply are as follows:

  • Certain anti-depressants (e.g., fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, levodopa, cimetidine, clozapine, digoxin, disulfiram, kava, ketoconazole, omeprazole, sodium oxybate)
  • Liver or kidney problems, breathing problems
  • History of alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Personality disorder, a history of psychiatric illness like depression
  • Recently suffered a loss or bereavement, e.g. the death of a relative or close friend.
  • Pregnancy

If the tablet is used in these circumstances, it can lead to the occurrence of uncommon adverse effects such as:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Generalised Weakness
  • Low Energy
  • Abnormal Nervous System Function Affecting Alertness
  • Behavioural Problems
  • Confusion

Patients who experience the above should discontinue using the tablet and contact a medical professional immediately.

Rare Diazepam Side Effects

Diazepam has a low potential for dependence and addiction. Nevertheless, users with an affinity to alcohol or drug abuse can misuse the treatment. When diazepam 10 mg tablets are taken in the following ways, it can cause rare diazepam side effects:

  • In unauthorised high doses
  • More frequently than prescribed
  • Via alternate methods (such as injection or via crushing and snorting) to enhance the 'high'
  • In conjunction with other sedatives, alcohol or drugs

Rare diazepam side effects can also occur if the tablet is taken for longer than four months without medical consultation or supervision. These side effects usually cannot be handled using DIY remedies and require professional medical care.

Professional medical help must be sought following the occurrence of any one of the below:

  • Anaphylaxis (a significant type of allergic reaction)
  • Angioedema
  • Blood disorders like haemolytic anaemia
  • Jaundice
  • Abnormal liver or lung functionality
  • Accidental Falls
  • An inability to empty the bladder
  • Apnoea and other breathing interruptions
  • Coma
  • Decreased blood platelets
  • Depression, manic behaviour, suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Low blood counts, pressure
  • Severe memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Sleepwalking

* It is worth stressing that best practice guidelines and adherence to usage and dosing instructions minimise the risks of side effects, especially more serious and rare ones. This is why patients should be well informed before taking a treatment, to ensure optimal benefits and no major or persistent and alarming side effects.

Never Mix Diazepam and Alcohol

Diazepam is 100% safe and effective anxiety medication when used as recommended. However, it can cause cognitive impairments, aggression or a lack of inhibition if combined with the likes of alcohol. Taking both these substances together can exacerbate potential side effects. The combination can also cause an exaggeration of both the substances depressant effects, which can lead to the occurrence of severe diazepam side effects such as:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Marked somnolence or excessive drowsiness
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Hostility
  • Slowed or faint heartbeat and pulse
  • Unconsciousness
  • A coma-like sleep that will be hard to wake up from

Despite these risks, approximately 1 in 5 people still combine alcohol with diazepam use. This is because the combination causes an elevated high that can unfortunately be addictive. However, users should be warned that prolonged use of this combination can result in severe brain damage or even death.

Effective use of this anti-anxiety medication under an appropriate treatment course, on the other hand, can prove highly effective in treating anxiety and related issues.

For more information see the blog links below or visit our UK based online pharmacy.

Updated: 15th January 2021
Review Due: January 2022

Steve

ABOUT STEVE

Fueled with a passion to try and help people less fortunate than himself Steve immersed himself in the medical industry. By researching new and innovative medical advancements and regularly sharing important information on social media Steve intends to make a difference where it matters most, people's health. His wealth of knowledge and keen eye for detail will help keep our readers informed and contribute towards improved health.

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