Valium belongs to a group of benzodiazepines and is similarly to other members of the group a powerful sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic and anticonvulsant. Valium also acts as muscle relaxant and amnesic. The drug is in the majority of cases prescribed to treat severe anxiety and insomnia. Only if used for a long period of time, Valium may cause physiological as well as psychological dependency.
Valium is a highly efficient medication mostly prescribed for anxiety disorders. For instance, people suffering from hallucinations, paranoia, acute agitation, acute delirium tremens and tremors are suitable candidates for Valium.
Furthermore, the drug can act against muscle spasms and spasticity caused by various neurological conditions and disorders. It is also used in people suffering from tetanus and those with stiff-man syndrome. Even people suffering from epilepsy may benefit from Valium, especially patients who have entered status epilepticus.
There are many side effects of Valium and these are classified according to the organ system they affect. Fatigue, mental confusion and depression are side effects associated with malfunction of the central nervous system. As for the digestive tract, Valium may cause nausea, vomiting and constipation. Loss of bladder control, impotence and erectile dysfunction affect the genitourinary tract. Skin changes include skin rash and urticaria and there are several more side effect such as hiccups, mouth dryness and liver problems.
Under certain circumstances Valium may also cause paradoxical reactions like anxiety or hyperexcitation, anger, insomnia and hallucination i.e. problems that the drug should bring under control in the first place.
Even though Valium is highly efficient when it comes to anxiety disorders, the drug also has potential for abuse and may easily lead to dependence and addiction. People who use Valium may also abuse other illicit drugs which makes matters worse. Abuse is reported in both cases, when people are prescribed Valium because they suffer from certain conditions and in those who take Valium illegitimately.
If the addiction has developed, any abrupt discontinuation of the drug may easily cause a palette of withdrawal symptoms including sweating, tremor, convulsions as well as abdominal and muscle cramps and vomiting.
Mild withdrawal symptoms like dysphoria and insomnia affect people who have been taking small doses of the drug for several months. However, more severe withdrawal symptoms are reported in individuals who have been taking Valium in excessive doses and for a long period of time.
Because of all the mentioned, sudden drug discontinuation is forbidden. The dose should be gradually reduced and the drug finally completely discontinued.
Also, it is essential to pay attention when prescribing Valium, because this drug should not be administered to addiction-prone individuals.