The well-known medication Valium is an FDA approved medication and classified as a benzodiazepine. It commonly used to treat anxiety and anxiety related symptoms. Unlike other benzodiazepines, this therapeutic is used under a doctor’s supervision to treat various patient ailments such as seizures, muscles spasms and withdrawal symptoms of other medication.
This medication is widely available and has been reviewed and rated 5-stars by most patients for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and muscle spasms. It is important to note that this medication will react differently for each individual; some gaining desired affects some less. However, reviews suggest positive results in over 70-80% of cases. The reaction, nonetheless, solely depends on age, severity of condition, and interaction with other medication – among other factors. It is also a well-known therapeutic for its low-risk of fatal adverse effects.
This therapeutic also has a lower risk to dependency and addiction than other benzodiazepines. In some cases, it is used to treat withdrawal from alcohol and other benzodiazepine medications. It also has a low risk for fatal adverse side effects, unless interaction with other medication occurs, and is therefore more commonly prescribed to patients.
However, prolonged habitual use – as with most treatments – may worsen anxiety, prolong seizures, and cause respiratory arrest. Moderate usage may cause drowsiness, anxiety, depression and confusion that will only last for a short period of time. The latter is also rare.
This article aims to discuss the above-mentioned therapeutics and administration of the medication among other important information.
How Does Valium Work?
There are a number of medications or variants used for similar treatments as the one in discussion; however, the difference is that this therapeutic has a faster onset and takes longer to leave the system.
This medication works by binding to GABA A receptors and enhancing the central nervous system to produce sedative and relaxing effects. Because this medication works directly with the brain by slowing activity and the transmission of information to nerves, it is important that patients take precaution when using this medication.
The valium medication is commonly produced in oral form and has an onset of about 20-50 minutes and may last for about 30-50 hours in the system. Below are some of the ways the medication works to treat previous mentioned conditions:
· Anxiety: Slows down activity in the brain to produce relaxation therefore, lowering anxiety.
· Muscle Spasms: Activates the GABA A receptors in the brain that release a neurotransmitter called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) to decrease the possibility of muscle spasms caused by inflammation or trauma.
· Seizures: Increases activity of GABA receptors that decrease the risk of a seizure by promoting drowsiness, dulled senses and calmness.
· Withdrawal Symptoms: Withdrawal related symptoms (such as anxiety, agitation, tremor, and hallucinations) are gradually treated by using this medication to slow activity on the brain which in turn diverts the attention of a patient and causes them become calmer.
What Is Diazepam?
This therapeutic is an FDA approved medication that belongs to the benzodiazepine class. This therapeutic is an active ingredient in medication and was first marketed as Valium.
This medication is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, recurrent seizures, alcohol detoxification, and certain neurological diseases. Off-label, this medication is used as a sedative for pre-operative anxiety relief and ICU, as well as for short-term treatment for children with cerebral palsy.
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common psychiatric ailments that have been recorded. Before the 1960’s, general sedatives and depressants (opiates, alcohol, lithium) were used for the treatment of anxiety, however, in the 1960’s different variations of benzodiazepines, barbiturates and carbamates had been introduced with an improved safety profile and in 1963, the therapeutic had its first public release.
This medication was proved to have an even safer profile and less toxicity as compared to the previously used benzodiazepines. In comparison, this medication is used to treat more ailments (mentioned previously) than other benzodiazepines.
How Does Diazepam Work?
This therapeutic works by binding to the alpha-gamma subunit interface in the brain, increasing responses and regulating the GABA A receptor complex. This action basically enhances the central nervous system and produces a calming effect on neurons found in what is called the thalamus, cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, and limbic system.
By this stage patients will experience sedation and a relaxing effect. This medication also comes in different brands such as Diazepam (ARX), Ducene, Ranzepam, and Valpam among others. These brands differ in appearance, packaging, forms, and names; however all approved generics contain the same active ingredient and work identically.
The therapeutic has gained commercial success and versatile clinical use, due to the medication’s fast onset of action, widespread availability, and effectiveness. As a result of the fast effects these medications produce, it is advised that patients should take rest after using the therapeutic. General activities (like driving) or extreme physical activities (like lifting heavy machinery) should not be performed due to potential side-effects such as drowsiness and dizziness.
Minor side effects include unsteadiness, muscle weakness, fatigue and drowsiness. Some very rare side-effects include agitation, hallucinations and sleep difficulties.
Administration Of Medication
Valium is available in oral form in 2mg, 5mg and 10mg tablets. Each tablet contains the active ingredient Diazepam, as well as inactive ingredients such as calcium stearate, cornstarch and anhydrous lactose, among others.
Since Diazepam is an active ingredient in much different therapeutics, it is available in oral, intravenous injection (IV) and intramuscular injections (IM) forms. When used orally, the medication has an onset of about 15-60 minutes, and when used intravenously, the onset is within 1-3 minutes; it lasts for about 12 hours in the body.
Listed below are some of the general dosages required for different treatments using these medications:
· Muscle Spasm: 2 mg – 10 mg (3 or 4 times) daily
· Anxiety and it’s symptoms: 2 mg – 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily
· Seizures: 2 mg-10 mg tablets, 2 – 4 times daily, 0.15mg/kg-0.20mg/kg if taking IV
· Alcohol Withdrawal: 10 mg to be taken 3 or 4 times during the first 24 hours, afterwards 5mg (3 or 4 times) when necessary.
· Preoperative relief of anxiety: 10 mg IM before surgery
Note that these general recommendations vary from person to person; therefore, individuals should consult their pharmacist, doctor, or research further for a dosage that will be suitable for them and their condition.