Diazepam or Valium® is a type of prescription medication used to treat alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, and muscle spasms. Valium® belongs to a group of prescription medications called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are drugs that relax the brain and nerves. When used with other drugs, Valium® can also treat seizures. As with most anti-anxiety drugs, Valium® has its benefits and drawbacks. In today’s post, we are listing down the pros and cons of taking Diazepam:
The Benefits of Diazepam
People who suffer from anxiety tend to deal with intense emotional distress every day. Taking Diazepam helps ease anxiety by bringing about a calm, relaxed feeling. The drug is designed to help anxiety-prone patients deal with stressful situations.
Diazepam is used to treat a wide range of emotional disorders including sleep problems like insomnia. Sleep problems are often rooted to emotional distress. The drug puts the patient in a state of deep sleep, allowing the individual to achieve complete rest every night. Diazepam is also used to reduce night terrors or nightmares, another cause of disrupted sleep.
Eases Alcohol Withdrawal
Millions of people die from alcoholism each year. Diazepam helps reduce the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism. This allows the patient to remain sober despite the jarring symptoms that come from swearing off alcohol.
As a powerful sedative, Diazepam helps put a patient to sleep to prepare him or her for a medical procedure. This drug is often administered before a major operation to prep the patient and put him or her at ease.
The Drawbacks of Diazepam
Taking Diazepam is habit-forming especially among those who suffer from sleep disorders or anxiety. Usually, patients depend on the drug to keep them relaxed and that’s when the problem starts. As the patient becomes accustomed to taking Diazepam, he or she becomes tolerant to the same dosage. To maintain effectiveness, the patient will take higher doses of the drug. This increases the risk of overdose. Thousands of patients die from OD-ing on Diazepam each year.
Because taking Diazepam is habit-forming, patients who are addicted to the drug are likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms if they quit popping Valium®. The most common symptoms of Valium® withdrawal are intense need to take the drug, erratic behavior, profuse sweating and muscle tremors. Other symptoms include digestive problems, insomnia, psychosis, seizures, vision problems and extreme anxiety and irritability.
Because Diazepam is a powerful sedative, it can cause intense drowsiness and dizziness when taken. That’s why patients should refrain from taking Diazepam an hour or two before driving or operating heavy machinery. Ideally, this drug should only be taken when in a neutral environment. This drug can also cause difficulty in walking, urinating and slurred speech.
As with most drugs, taking Diazepam regularly will affect the liver and kidneys. The liver and kidneys help remove toxins from the body, including the byproduct of the drug. As such, people with a history of liver and kidney disease should never take Diazepam.
Diazepam can also cause a number of mental and behavioral problems such as hallucinations, memory loss, and unexplained aggression.