Brand name

  • Valum®

Drug Class

  1. Anxiolytic agent
  2. Sedative
  3. Anticonvulsant


  1. Tablets 2, 5, 10 mg
  2. Injection: 10 mg


  1. Used for short-term management of symptoms of anxiety
  2. In acute alcohol withdrawal, Valium (diazepam tablets) may be useful in the symptomatic relief of acute agitation, tremor, impending or acute delirium tremens and hallucinosis.
  3. As adjunct for the relief of skeletal muscle spasm due to reflex spasm to local pathology (such as inflammation of the muscles or joints, or secondary to trauma), spasticity caused by upper motor neuron disorders (such as cerebral palsy and paraplegia), athetosis, and stiff-man syndrome.
  4. Management of convulsive disorders
  5. The effectiveness of Valium in long-term use, that is, more than 4 months, has not been assessed by systematic clinical studies



  1. 2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily


  1. Depending upon severity of symptoms-2 mg to 10 mg, 2 to 4 times daily


  1. a single daily dose of 2 to 4 mg may be given, usually at bedtime.

For elderly or debilitated patients:

  1. 2 mg to 2.5 mg, 1 or 2 times daily initially; increase gradually as needed and tolerated

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms:

  1. 10 mg, 3 or 4 times during the first 24 hours, reducing to 5 mg, 3 or 4 times daily as needed

Skeletal muscle spasm:

  1. 2 mg to 10 mg, 3 or 4 times daily

Drug Interactions

The effect of valium can be potentiated with:

  1. Phenothiazines
  2. Antipsychotics
  3. Anxiolytics
  4. Sedatives hypnotics
  5. Anticonvulsants
  6. Narcotic analgesics
  7. Anesthetics
  8. Sedative antihistamines
  9. Barbiturates
  10. MAO inhibitors
  11. Antidepressants


  1. Concomitant use with alcohol is not recommended due to enhancement of the sedative effect.

Hepatic Cytochrome P450 3A and 2C19 inhibitors:

  1. May lead to increased and prolonged sedation.
  2. Is known to occur with cimetidine, ketoconazole, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, and omeprazole.


  1. metabolic elimination of phenytoin is decreased by diazepam

Adverse Effects


  1. paradoxical reaction (excitatory)
  2. may worsen depression or psychosis
  3. Fatigue
  4. Diplopia
  5. Blurred vision
  6. Hypersensitivity reactions,
  7. Anaphylactic reactions


  1. Respiratory depression and partial airway obstruction, especially when combined with narcotics
  2. laryngospasm


  1. Hypotension


  1. Confusion
  2. Amnesia
  3. Stimulation
  4. Restlessness
  5. acute hyperexcited states
  6. anxiety
  7. Agitation
  8. Aggressiveness
  9. Irritability
  10. Rage
  11. Hallucinations
  12. Psychoses
  13. Delusions
  14. increased muscle spasticity
  15. insomnia and sleep disturbances
  16. Nightmare


  1. incontinence
  2. changes in libido
  3. urinary retention


  1. Allergy


  1. thrombophlebitis

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  1. Not recommended during pregnancy
  2. Avoid using during nursing


Sign and symptoms of toxicity:

  1. Drowsiness
  2. Confusion
  3. lethargy
  4. Ataxia
  5. diminished reflexes
  6. hypotonia
  7. hypotension
  8. respiratory depression
  9. coma


  1. Gastric lavage
  2. Activated charcoal may limit drug absorption
  3. Dialysis has limited value
  4. Flumazeil


This document is prepared by the “Mental Health for All” team. This document is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the Essentials of Medicine. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

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