What is Diazepam / Valium?

What is Diazepam / Valium?

Diazepam (Valium) is a medicine that belongs to the benzodiazepine category, a group of medications known for its hypnotic, anxiety-reliving and myorelaxant properties. This medication has a range of properties that allow it to be used for various conditions. The medication's overall success and high tolerability make it one of the most popular benzodiazepines on the market. It is available at many online pharmacies and is often marketed under its brand name, Valium.

This medication was the second successful benzodiazepine compound, which was introduced in 1963. This was after the high effectiveness of the first benzodiazepine, Librium. Since then, it has continually gained a good reputation in the medical world and patients alike. The medication became one of the most prescribed substances in the UK, with sales peaking in 1978.

There was high optimism in the medical world as this medication can replace barbiturates. This medication has similar sedative effects as barbiturates; however, it is a more effective treatment for anxiety, while having a lower incidence for a lethal overdose. It also said to have a low potential for dependence and abuse.

These characteristics have made the medication a standard, first-line treatment for anxiety. Its advanced chemical structure and flexibility opened the way for Valium to become the most preferred anti-anxiety prescription of all time.

How Does Valium Work?

The treatment can enhance and boost a certain neurotransmitter's abilities in the brain, known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Diazepam contains the active ingredient, desmethyldiazepam, which contributes to this function. If there is not enough GABA in the brain, the body will be overly excited, causing anxiety, muscle spasms or seizures.

The use of Valium increases the chemical's ability, whose transmission across nerves in the brain causes a calming effect, relieving feelings of anxiety, promoting sleep, and decreasing seizures and muscle spasms. When the substance is ingested, it locks on to GABA receptors in the brain, changing its shape. This allows GABA to improve its binding power, causing its calming effect to be more substantial.

Although the generic of Valium is available, some patients still prefer to purchase the brand-name medications. Despite medical opioids, some patients still feel uneasy with the use of generic medications. Nonetheless, various experts reassure patients that generic treatments do not differ from their branded counterparts, as the FDA requires diazepam generic to be bioequivalent to Valium 10 mg.

This refers to the generic composition, which must be at least 80% similar to the brand name. In reality, they are usually 96-98% similar. The manufacturers only have leeway with inactive ingredients, the name and the appearance of the tablet. Both these medications' mechanism of action is also the same, as they contain the same active ingredient.

Since the API is the same, side effects and safety characteristics are precisely the same, showing no significant difference between these two medications. By buying the generic version, patients can successfully treat their conditions with no considerable dent in their pockets.

What is Diazepam Used For?

Anxiety disorders can be severe if it is left undertreated or untreated. Individuals who leave their anxiety untreated may fear even necessary activities of daily living. They are also prone to other psychological disorders, such as depression, and have a greater affinity to alcohol or drug abuse. However, these concerns can be heeded to, since the introduction of medications like diazepam.

It is the first medication of choice for treating anxiety and its symptoms with its long half-life, which allows for a smooth dose reduction. The medication also has relatively low toxicity in the case of an accidental overdose.

Valium has several uses, which include:

  • Reduction of anxiety, panic attacks and agitation.
  • Short-term solution to insomnia.
  • Treatment of muscle spasms.
  • Short-term treatment of seizures or fits.
  • Pre or postoperative sedation before surgical procedures.
  • Treatment of hallucinations that may come with the use of illicit drugs.

The medication can also be used in the management of withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepine, opioid or alcohol addiction. This is due to its long period of action and proven evidence of efficacy and safety.

Even though benzodiazepines do not have any pain-relieving effects, this medication is an exception. Its muscle-relaxing therapeutic properties can be used to alleviate pain caused by muscle spasms and different dystonias. This is an off-label use where tolerance may develop if usage instructions are ignored, therefore it must be used after research or at a medical professional's advice.

Diazepam Strengths Available

Diazepam Strengths Available

The strength of treatment refers to the amount of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) found in a single tablet. This is indicted usually as the number that comes after the name of the medication. The strength of diazepam that is taken is dependent on the doses needed for a specific condition.

The availability of various strengths allows patients to accurately treat their ailment, while ensuring they do not experience severe and long term side effects. Valium is available for oral consumption in strengths of 2 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg. It is always best to start this treatment on the lowest effective dose, while gradually increasing according to patient response and severity of the condition.

This medication's various strengths give way for much-needed adaptability for different individuals, as dosage regimens are based on their characteristics and history of medications and diseases. In this way, they can pick out a specific dose, which will effectively treat their condition. For instance, if a patient is taking Valium for anxiety, they would take a 2 mg dose compared to a patient who takes the medication for sleep problems, who would have to take a 5 mg to 15 mg dose.

How Does Diazepam Make You Feel?

Benzodiazepine anxiety medication, such as diazepam have a sedating effect on the body, by slowing the functions and processes to facilitate restorative sleep and anxiety reduction. These medications can increase the effects GABA responsible for rational thought, memory, emotions and essential functions.

Depending on the condition that patients are treating, they may experience increased drowsiness as well as lessened anxiety, low or no occurrences of seizures and relaxation of the muscles. The medication can also limit specific manic symptoms, such as agitation or racing thoughts. This gives extra time for pharmacological mood stabilizers to take effect. The medication is also commonly used as an add-on or supplementary treatment, to assist individuals with seizure disorders - and is available for sale at our 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.

Shaun Golding – Feb 25, 2021
Hello Steve, Just wanted to thank you for your superb article. Your knowledge and insight has been a real help to me in my fight with anxiety. Best regards - Shaun Golding

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