Valium is one of the benzodiazepines, drugs used to treat different central nervous problems.
This medication is used in the treatments of anxiety disorders, and as a relief in some muscle spasms and seizures. This drug is also known to help easing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, such as hallucinations, tremor and agitations.
Valium works by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma amino-butyric acid, therefore GABA) in the brain. This way, Valium helps to decrease anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms.
Most of the patients treated with Valium experience nervous system side effects. The most common are tiredness, depression, sleepiness, dizziness, headaches and problems with movements, thinking and speech. Some patients report tremor, vertigo, ataxia and syncope and rarely acute dystonic reactions or coma. Rarely, there were paradoxical reactions to Valium, such as hyperactivity and increased anxiety.
Valium might provoke stimulation, anxiety, agitation, irritability and aggression, as well as hallucinations, sleeping problems, nightmares and psychoses. Psychiatric problems are more frequent in children and older patients.
Patients often have problems with palpable venous cord. Some other local problems, present on the injection spot are not so common, including irritation, swelling, phlebitis, thrombosis and vascular problems. There was a reported case of Sweet’s syndrome (acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis). Patients experienced problems with high fever, painful rash and serious joint problems.
Hypersensitivity is not a major issue in Valium treated patients. They might experience rash, pruritus or bronchospasm.
Gastrointestinal problems are presented as nausea, constipation or digestion issues. Dry mouth or hypersalivation may also be troublesome for the patients.
Patients using Valium have reported sexual problems, urine retention, and sometimes granulomatous hepatitis. Rarely, there is elevation of liver enzymes and neutropenia, so these patients should periodically check liver function and blood counts.
Possible cardiovascular problems are hypotension and anti-ischemic effect.
Valium might be responsible for increased muscle spasticity and sometimes be connected with rhabdomyolysis.
This medication is reported to cause vision problems, such as diplopia or blurred vision, and rarely maculopathy.
Valium for parenteral use could lead to respiratory arrest. Because of that, it should be used only if the equipment for resuscitation is available. Parenterally applied, this medication could also increase the risk of aspiration.
In the case of abrupt cessation of Valium there is a strong possibility that some of the withdrawal symptoms may occur. These usually include psychosensory symptoms, and in some case tremor, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, seizures, panic attacks and depression. Withdrawal symptoms are not difficult for the patients.