Valium (Diazepam): Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions
The active ingredient Diazepam is a sedative and belongs to the group of benzodiazepines. They have a profound influence on the psyche. Benzodiazepines are considered anti-anxiety (anxiolytics) and sleep-inducing (hypnotics) drugs. The best-known drug with the active ingredient diazepam is Valium.
Diazepam – Effect
Diazepam has anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant and antispasmodic effects. This is done by increasing the inhibitory effect of an endogenous neurotransmitter in the brain – gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA for short. Diazepam binds to the GABA-A receptors as an agonist. As a consequence, more chloride ions flow into the cell. This increases the cell membrane tension, while at the same time the excitability of the cell is reduced.
The electrical activity of nerve cells in the brainstem and limbic system is reduced, which produces the desired effect. Due to the influence on the central nervous system, the effect occurs very quickly after ingestion. Diazepam is preferably used to treat febrile seizures and tetanus poisoning. It also helps quickly with epileptic grand mal seizures. It is also used to treat withdrawal symptoms in alcohol dependent people who are undergoing detoxification.
How long does it take Diazepam to work?
Benzodiazepines are highly lipophilic. This property favors a rapid central introduction of the active substance. Diazepam has the fastest active ingredient development. With an intravenous injection , the onset of action can be felt after just one minute. In comparison, the effect of oral intake or intramuscular injection only occurs after an hour. The breakdown products of diazepam can have a sedative effect up to 80 hours after administration.
How quickly is it broken down in the body?
The active substance is broken down primarily via the liver and is excreted in the urine. Diazepam is a benzodiazepine with a relatively long half-life of 20 to 50 hours.
Diazepam – application and dosage
Diazepam is usually used as a sleeping pill for patients with acute anxiety or stress. The active substance is also used in psychiatric wards to treat increased states of excitement, such as in bipolar disorders or schizophrenia.
- Preoperative medication
- Delirium tremens, alcohol withdrawal
- muscle cramps, spasms
- phobic disorders
- Manic Illnesses
The starting dosage is about 2 to 3 mg daily and can be increased to 10 mg by the doctor. In the case of inpatient treatment, daily doses of a maximum of 60 mg are possible, but should not otherwise exceed 40 mg. As previously discussed, Diazepam does not come without a prescription. It is essential that a precise dosage is set up by the doctor and strictly adhered to. The period should be as short as possible and the dosage as low as possible so that there is no dependence and, as a consequence, withdrawal symptoms occur when weaning. If the drug is taken for a longer period of time, it must therefore be discontinued gradually. This is referred to as “tapering off” medication intake. Diazepam should be used for a maximum of four to six weeks.
Diazepam can be administered in oral, parenteral, intranasal and rectal form. It should not be taken orally on a full stomach, as this can delay the onset of the effect. It is therefore recommended to take it in the evening, about half an hour before going to bed.
Diazepam – side effects
When taken acutely and in moderation, diazepam has few side effects and is well tolerated. However, general side effects can include headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness and temporary memory lapses.
Simultaneous consumption of alcohol increases the side effects and should therefore be avoided. During pregnancy, diazepam should only be taken under medical supervision if therapy with the drug is classified as absolutely necessary. The active substance itself and its metabolites reach the unborn child via the placenta and can accumulate in it. This can result in the so-called “floppy infant syndrome”. This syndrome is characterized by flaccid muscles, difficulty breathing and an impaired sucking reflex in the newborn. Since diazepam can also accumulate in breast milk, it should be avoided during breastfeeding if possible.
Since only the symptoms are relieved and the cause of the condition is not treated, the intake should not exceed a period of 1 to 1.5 months. Discontinuation of the drug can lead to withdrawal symptoms in the form of tremors, sweating, insomnia and nausea.
Diazepam – risks and overdose
Taking diazepam can lead to memory, perception and reaction disorders. This reduces the ability to drive. It is therefore strongly discouraged to operate vehicles and machines. The muscle-relaxing effect of the drug can result in serious falls, especially in older patients. Excessive intake can lead to pronounced tiredness, daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, muscle weakness and movement disorders.
The potential to develop a physical and psychological dependence on diazepam is enormous. Taking diazepam for too long increases the risk of habituation and tolerance. Reasons for this can be found on the one hand in the mechanism of action of the preparation, which causes physical dependence. On the other hand, in the option of being able to strongly influence one’s own state of mind through the drug. If diazepam is not taken on the basis of a medical indication and under therapeutic supervision, the risk of developing dependence increases further. Even if you use the preparation responsibly, dependency can creep in over long periods of use.
Suddenly stopping diazepam is also not without risk. Symptoms such as insomnia, severe excitement with inner restlessness, anxiety and tension, and an increased tendency to suicidal can occur. The occurrence of so-called rebound effects is possible when the drug is discontinued. The original symptoms can be stronger than before after weaning. Therefore, weaning should only take place gradually and under medical supervision.
An overdose with diazepam often occurs when the drug is deliberately taken in excessive amounts, which is triggered by suicidal intentions. The result is sedative poisoning. An overdose is accompanied by the following symptoms: impaired consciousness, nausea and vomiting. There is no longer any reaction to painful stimuli. The active ingredient also affects breathing.
Looking where to buy Valium (Diazepam) online without a prescription? Order now on our website! We deliver orders all over United States. The best drug prices are only available in our authorized online pharmacy