What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this drug if you have:
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse (see Valium and Alcohol)
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Valium and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Valium and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Diazepam to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Diazepam Work?Diazepam is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. These medicines have several effects on the body, including:
All medicines in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why diazepam and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).