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  • Valium Dosage Info | Proper Use Vs. Abuse

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    Valium Dosage Info | Proper Use Vs. Abuse

    The recommended dosage of Valium, the brand name for diazepam, depends on the severity of symptoms your healthcare provider is trying to treat. 

    Valium is a Schedule IV controlled substance with potential for abuse. Taking more Valium than your prescribed dosage, or using it to get high, is a form of drug abuse that can lead to adverse effects.

    When used properly, this benzodiazepine prescription drug treats symptoms brought on by neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy and status epilepticus (continuous seizures or epilepsy).

    In addition, Valium is used to help treat symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal and anxiety disorders such as panic attacks. 

    Valium Dosage & Proper Use

    Valium is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that produces sedative effects to help calm the person in need of the medication. Valium works by affecting the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

    To properly use Valium, it’s important to follow the directions given to you by your prescribing healthcare provider.

    Available Valium Dosages

    The dose of diazepam prescribed may depend on several factors, including which route you choose to take the medication. In general, diazepam is offered in the following options:

    • tablets available in 2 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg doses
    • solutions available in a 5 mg/mL dose
    • injections available in a 5 mg/mL dose
    • gels available for rectal use
    • nasal sprays available in 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg doses

    Daily Doses Of Valium

    According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the breakdown of daily doses of Valium consist of 2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily for managing anxiety disorders in the short-term.

    In addition, the treatment of alcohol withdrawal requires 10 mg, 3 to 4 times during the first 24 hours and then a reduction of the dose to 5 mg for 3 to 4 times daily as needed. 

    Those with muscle spasms or convulsive disorders may require a daily dose ranging from 2 mg to 10 mg, 3 to 4 times daily.

    Common Side Effects Of Valium Use

    Despite the relief some may feel from Valium, it can cause a number of common side effects when used properly. Some of these side effects can include:

    • sedation
    • drowsiness
    • headache
    • impairment
    • irritability
    • muscle weakness
    • nausea
    • constipation
    • dry mouth

    Valium Precautions & Warnings

    Those with certain medical conditions may need to avoid Valium to prevent any adverse effects. For instance, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, contact your doctor before taking Valium.

    Since the drug may pass from the breast milk of the mother to the child during the lactation process, those breastfeeding should avoid Valium to prevent health problems with the baby.

    In addition to this, those with a family history of the following conditions should avoid Valium:

    • narrow-angle glaucoma or open-angle glaucoma
    • liver disease
    • hepatic or renal impairments
    • muscle diseases such as myasthenia gravis
    • breathing problems such as sleep apnea

    Valium Abuse

    The effects of diazepam may be heightened when the drug is abused. Prescription drug abuse occurs when:

    • you take a higher dosage of Valium than prescribed
    • you use Valium without a prescription
    • you use Valium in ways other than prescribed 
    • you mix Valium with other substances, including alcohol

    Serious side effects can occur when you abuse Valium in any of these ways, potentially leading to life-threatening health problems.

    Serious Side Effects

    Some of the serious side effects a person may experience when abusing Valium include:

    • tremors
    • ataxia
    • hypotension
    • physical dependence
    • withdrawal symptoms
    • overdose
    • trouble breathing or respiratory depression
    • physical dependence
    • coma

    Polydrug Abuse

    Combining Valium with other substances can lead to severe health problems and drug interactions. Other CNS depressants should especially be avoided while taking Valium.

    To avoid adverse reactions, seek the medical advice of your doctor before combining the following substances with Valium:

    • supplements
    • anticonvulsants
    • barbiturates
    • muscle relaxants
    • alcohol
    • opioids
    • ketoconazole
    • carbamazepine
    • omeprazole
    • cimetidine
    • fluoxetine
    • fluvoxamine
    • antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

    Valium Overdose

    Those who participate in Valium abuse may have an increased risk of developing a Valium overdose due to how quickly the drug enters the bloodstream if you snort or inject the drug. 

    Your risk of overdose also increases if you take higher doses than prescribed or mix Valium with opioids or alcohol.  Signs of a Valium overdose can include severe mental impairment and intoxication, trouble with balance, and slurred speech.

    If you or a loved one need the help of healthcare professionals to overcome prescription drug abuse, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Article Sources

    Drug Enforcement Administration - Benzodiazepines
    Food and Drug Administration - Valium
    National Alliance on Mental Illness - Diazepam (Valium)
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Diazepam
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Diazepam Rectal

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