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:
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: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 3, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 3, 2007.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click