Anxiety is a health condition that’s extremely common in most people. While some may experience mild forms of it, others see it as a debilitating health issue that’s hard to manage. Considering the complexity of the human body, anxiety affects everyone in a variety of different ways.
There are also a long list of methods people can use to help manage anxiety, but some rely on medication to get the job done. One of the most common on the topic of anxiety is Valium, which has been known as a reliable and effective option for years.
The prescription drug comes with a unique composition and its own complexities that all play a part in its efficacy within the human body. Keep reading through this article to get an unfiltered look at the effectiveness of Valium.
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Tackling Anxiety with Valium
Anyone who has experienced anxiety to any degree knows that there are a handful of symptoms associated with that experience. A sense of discomfort is one of the most common, but anxiety could also include muscle spasms or general spasticity. There are also a wide range of health conditions that can enhance the prevalence of anxiety in certain people.
Valium (Diazepam) helps to keep these experiences at bay, and the drug is a part of the benzodiazepines classification of medications. From a simplistic point of view, Valium helps by reducing overactivity within the brain.
Whether it’s delivered as a concentrate, tablet, or solution, Valium can be administered in many different ways. Most people are used to taking the drug in tablet form, as that’s generally the easiest for home use.
Depending on the severity of the anxiety, patients may be prescribed to administer Valium one to four times in a single day. It can also be taken with or without food, and patients shouldn’t experience any discomfort one way or the other.
This is a drug that requires a consistent administration schedule and shouldn’t be stopped abruptly for any reason. Valium is known to cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped without a tapering schedule. The symptoms associated with withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable and cause a number of adverse effects on a patient’s health.
With a little education on how Valium works, these various concerns can be avoided along the way. Valium is a multi-faceted drug that isn’t as simple as it may seem or feel.
Understanding the dynamics
There are a number of effects that are taking place when a patient ingests Valium. Anyone who has taken Valium has likely experienced effects that are sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, and amnestic. Some of these terms may be foreign to the everyday individual, but they’re all taking place when Valium gets to work within the body.
The action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is what facilitates most of these effects. Although there’s a diverse process involved with Valium, most people are only aware of the relaxing effects that follow after administration.
A few phases take place when Valium enters the body. It’s known to have a biphasic half-life. This pertains to a rapid distribution phase that’s then followed by a prolonged terminal elimination phase of a day or two. The distributive half-life of Valium is roughly one hour, while the elimination half-life is around 1 ½ days.
This is even longer with patients that are experiencing prolonged treatment with Valium.
These metrics are bound to change based on various health factors and age. Valium’s distributive and elimination phases can look different between a young and elderly individual. Aside from these specific dynamics of the drug, other factors such as precautions, health risks, and dosage information are equally important.
The do’s and don’ts of Valium
There are a few important considerations every patient should take into account before signing up for a Valium prescription. It’s vital to discuss any crucial allergies that may be affected by Valium’s ingredients. You’d also be surprised at how many prescription and non-prescription medications have to be avoided when taking Valium. The best way to navigate this is to be transparent about your current medications with your doctor.
Health conditions such as sleep apnea, myasthenia, and lung or liver disease should also be disclosed, as these could pose additional risks in those taking Valium. If a patient is experiencing any of these health conditions, there’s a good chance the doctor may not prescribe Valium at all.
It should also be noted that mothers should not breastfeed while on Valium. The same goes for women who are pregnant or are aiming to become pregnant down the road. Overall, Valium should be avoided in these circumstances.
Valium should also be avoided for individuals that are 65 years or older. Thankfully, there are similar medications that are effective for those in this age group.
Although it isn’t common, there have been reports of people experiencing suicidal thoughts while on Valium. The stats show that this is around 1 in 500 cases, but it’s an important detail nonetheless. These points are simply a gist, but a medical professional will be able to cover all of the dos and don’ts from top to bottom.
Mild to severe side effects
The potential side effects related to Valium shouldn’t be a significant concern, but each patient should be aware that they exist. Of course, most people understand that side effects are a general part of prescription medication, but some can be a bit more daunting than others. It should be noted that many side effects can be avoided simply by following the administration instructions that come with the drug.
Common mild side effects of Valium include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Changes in sex drive
- Muscle weakness
- Dry mouth
- And more
Some of these are bound to be more uncomfortable than others, but none of them are exactly a guarantee. In extreme circumstances, patients may experience more severe side effects, which generally pose more of a health concern.
Serious side effects related to Valium include the following:
- Slowed heartbeat or breathing
- No control over bodily movements
- Slurred speech
- Uncontrollable shaking of different parts of the body
It’s understandable that these side effects can be relatively alarming, but they shouldn’t deter you from taking Valium to help manage your anxiety. Always discuss the details of the pros and cons of the drug with your doctor, and they’ll be more than happy to provide the answers you’re looking for.
Valium (Diazepam) may not be a viable solution for everyone, as the drug has the potential to be habit-forming. There are several known complications associated with habit-forming prescription drugs.
Take necessary precautions
In short, Valium can be habit-forming, especially when it comes to long-term use. You can avoid this by only taking the dosage and intake schedule provided by your doctor. Before taking Valiu, it’s wise to inform your doctor if you have consumed alcohol, recreational drugs, or abused prescription medications in the past.
Some people have experienced physical dependence when taking Valium. For those who suffer from certain levels of depression or mental illness, there’s a chance that your doctor may not prescribe Valium.
Those who end up suffering from withdrawal after taking Valium may experience these symptoms from a few weeks up to well over a year.
There are many crucial aspects of Valium that should be understood before taking the medication. You can find answers to many questions pertaining to Valium in the FAQ section below.
Can Valium be taken for more than one anxiety disorder?
Most definitely, as Valium is a multi-faceted drug that can help with symptoms related to a broad range of anxiety disorders. Whether you’re experiencing mild to severe anxiety, Valium is known to help immensely. Not only does it reduce the associated symptoms of anxiety, but it helps people get through everyday life as a whole.
Then again, the opposite could be said for those who abuse the drug. Abusing Valium could lead to more adverse health effects that have nothing to do with anxiety. When taking Valium, only follow the intake instructions provided by your doctor.
Is Valium helpful with symptoms related to insomnia?
You’d actually be surprised how many different health symptoms Valium can help with. It’s known that the drug can help with the short-term relief of anxiety, insomnia, cerebral palsy, muscle spasms, and much more.
However, it’s important to note that dosage and intake instructions are generally specific to the symptoms you’re trying to mitigate. Your doctor will be able to discern how the Valium should be utilized based on the health condition you need help with. Although Valium can help with insomnia, its primary use case is for anxiety disorders.
What are the long-term effects associated with Valium?
Most prescription drugs are fairly easy to handle in the short term, but long-term can come with a few implications. Long-term use of Valium is what makes symptoms of withdrawal much more likely. Even if you taper off the drug with a safe schedule, there’s a chance a patient may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Valium is known to cause dependence, but this isn’t a guarantee for everyone who takes the drug long-term. It’s vital to remain aware of changes in your behavior when taking Valium and never immediately stop taking the drug at any point.
Can children take Valium?
Valium is actually used for a wide range of health conditions found in young children. It should be known that dosage and administration may look different depending on their age. Regarding children, Valium is used to help control symptoms related to tension, irritability, muscle spasms, and more.
Some doctors may not prescribe Valium to children based on the severity of their health condition. The use of Valium in children should be closely monitored by the parent, as the drug can significantly affect the health of the child if not properly administered.
What’s the normal dose for Valium?
There is no blanket statement for dosage when it comes to Valium. Doctors consider a number of factors when discerning the right dose for each patient. From children, adults, and the elderly, Valium has to be handled with care. The only dosage a patient should be worried about are the instructions attached to their prescription medication.
Will I become dependent on Valium?
The experience of feeling dependent on a medication is not universal for every patient. Although the drug is habit-forming, complications in this area are generally seen in those who participate in long-term use.
There’s no guarantee that a patient will become dependent on the drug. However, as the body gets used to the drug’s presence on a consistent schedule, tapering off Valium could pose a challenge for some individuals.