Valium (Diazepam) was introduced to the market in 1963 and quickly gained favor as a safer alternative to earlier sedatives and tranquilizers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Valium for medical use in 1963. It is primarily prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seizures, and insomnia. Moreover, it is employed as a sedative before surgeries or medical treatments. Valium is considered a “wonder drug” and the most frequently prescribed medication in the United States due to its versatility. They were even known as “mothers’ little helpers,” referencing their use by housewives to cope with stress and anxiety.
Assistance for Quality Sleep
Valium possesses sleep-inducing qualities that can help individuals struggling with sleep difficulties. As a benzodiazepine medication, Valium acts by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, which promotes relaxation and reduces brain activity. By increasing GABA’s inhibitory effects, Valium can effectively induce sleep. It helps individuals fall asleep faster, alleviates anxiety that may interfere with sleep initiation, and promotes deeper and more restful sleep. Individuals who experience sleep difficulties, including insomnia, anxiety-related sleep disturbances, or muscle spasms that interfere with sleep can take Valium to mitigate their issues. The generic form of the drug called diazepam can also be used for the same benefits.
Valium – Pre-Surgical Sedative
The administration of Valium prior to surgery is aimed at creating a calm and cooperative state in patients, allowing for a smoother surgical experience. There is research evidence supporting the effectiveness of Valium as a sedative in this context. Several studies have investigated the use of Valium as a preoperative sedative. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology examined the effects of diazepam on preoperative anxiety. The researchers found that patients who received diazepam before surgery experienced a significant reduction in anxiety levels compared to the control group. The study concluded that diazepam effectively alleviated preoperative anxiety, making it a valuable option for preoperative sedation. Another study published in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology assessed the use of diazepam as a preoperative sedative in pediatric patients. The results indicated that diazepam provided effective sedation, resulting in reduced anxiety and improved cooperation during the induction of anesthesia. Furthermore, a review published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia analyzed various studies on preoperative sedation and found that benzodiazepines like diazepam were effective in reducing anxiety and improving patient comfort before surgery. Thus, Valium is a safe option for people to get relaxed during minor or major surgeries.
Valium for Alcohol Detox
When someone stops drinking alcohol after a period of excessive use, symptoms and difficulties may appear. Benzodiazepines are a class of drug that can help alleviate or avoid these symptoms and issues. Restlessness, agitation, hallucinations, convulsions, confusion, and even death are some of these symptoms. Different benzodiazepines, including lorazepam, chlordiazepoxide, oxazepam, and diazepam, can be used for this purpose. Although some people think that one of these drugs works better than the others to treat alcohol withdrawal, this isn’t the case. But because diazepam acts swiftly, it can help reduce symptoms more immediately and be controlled more precisely to prevent oversedation. It also stays in the body for a longer time, which means it gradually decreases and helps prevent sudden symptoms or rebound effects like seizures.
There is a common misconception that diazepam can cause excessive sedation compared to other benzodiazepines, but that is not true. The concerns about using diazepam in patients with liver disease or elderly patients are also unfounded. In fact, there is evidence that diazepam is safe for treating alcohol withdrawal in these patients when the dosage is adjusted based on their symptoms.
Dosage and Administration
Tablets, extended-release capsules, oral solutions, and injectable solutions are just a few of the different ways that valium is sold. Typically, the drug is ingested with or without meals.
The dosage and frequency of administration will be determined by the physician. However, the general dosage for different conditions are listed here:
- Dosage for Anxiety Disorders: The usual recommended starting dose for adults is 2 to 10 mg, taken 2 to 4 times a day. The dosage may be tailored based on concerned one’s response. The maximum recommended daily dose is generally 30 mg.
- Dosage for Muscle Spasms: For adults, the typical starting dose is 2 to 10 mg, taken 2 to 4 times a day. The dose can be increased if necessary, but should not exceed 60 mg per day in divided doses.
- Dosage for Seizures: For adults, the initial recommended dose is 2 to 10 mg, taken 2 to 4 times a day. The dosage may be adjusted based on the response and can range from 5 to 20 mg per day.
- Dosage for Alcohol Withdrawal: The usual starting dose is 10 mg, taken 3 to 4 times during the first 24 hours, and then reduced to 5 mg, taken 3 to 4 times daily as needed.