Epilepsy Home > Effects of Diazepam

Diazepam (Valium®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat several conditions, such as alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. It is approved for use in adults and children as young as six months old.
 
As part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines, diazepam has several effects on the body, including:
 
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
     
Diazepam also enhances 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).
 
Although most people tolerate this medication well, it is possible to experience side effects. Diazepam can cause problems such as drowsiness, fatigue, and coordination problems.
 
(Click Diazepam for a more in-depth look at the effects of diazepam, including information on how it works, general dosing guidelines, and what to know before starting treatment.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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