Valium is one of the most used Anti-Anxiety medications in the world. It is even more frequently used than Xanax and Prozac. In our main article on Valium, you may find a proper description, dosages, uses, addiction issues, and recovery options. This Valium FAQ will answer 20 frequently asked questions about Valium to give us a deeper understanding of how Valium works in the body, Valium side effects in detail, and legal issues with purchasing and using Valium.
1. What is Valium?
Diazepam is the generic name of Valium. The brand name Valium belongs to Hofman La-Roche pharmaceuticals. It was first approved by the FDA in 1963. That’s right. Valium is a pretty old medication. It belongs to a type of drug known as Benzodiazepines. These types of drugs are used as relaxants. In 2018, Diazepam was the 11th most prescribed medication in the United States with over 6 million prescriptions issued. It is considered a necessary drug and belongs to the World Health Organization (WHO): List of Essential Medications.
2. How does Valium work in the body?
Valium or Diazepam is known as a CNS (Central Nervous System) depressant. Do not get confused. It doesn’t depress you. It only stops the CNS (brain and the nervous system) from overacting. That why Valium can be used for many medical conditions. For a complete list, please check our main article “Valium (Diazepam)“.
Valium influences a brain chemical called GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). It is the chief inhibitor among other Neurotransmitters. To completely understand Neurotransmitters and GABA, please read our article “How do Anti-Anxiety Medications Work?“.
You may check a lot of medical journals, but they will tell you almost the same thing, “We don’t know how it works”. Luckily for you, we have the answer. First of all, nothing happens when a chemical gets released into the body. It has to be received so that our brain can get the signal. GABA naturally exists in the body. Diazepam simply increases its effectivity by opening more and more receptors. The reception of GABA signals the brain to calm down, slow the heart rate, relax, and shut down non-essential functions.
The presence of Dopamine and Endorphins together with GABA makes it even more relaxing. Dopamine sends a “feel good” signal to the brain and Endorphins create a numbing effect. That’s why Valium can treat Anxiety Disorder, Seizures (Muscle Spasms), depression, insomnia, and even nerve pains.
3. What are the available dosages?
The most common Diazepams are in tablet forms. There are Valium 5mg, 10mg and 20mg tablets. You can also buy a diazepam nasal spray in the market. It is ideal for patients who suffer from sudden panic attacks and epileptic episodes. Liquid diazepams are injectible and for use in hospitals. You may get the details from our Valium (Diazepam) article.
4. What are the side effects of Valium?
In the main article, we talked about a few, but here we will discuss this part elaborately. All medications come with some side effects. Valium is no different. However, if you know how to manage it, there is nothing much to worry about.
Common Side Effects:
If you have never taken it and have just been prescribed Valium, you may feel these common and mild side effects for the first 3-7 days.
- Nausea and Dizziness: It may occur if you are in a hot place or during intense physical activities. Remember that Valium is a relaxant. The idea is to slow your heart rate down and minimize activities. If you remain in a hot place and do physical exercises, you may feel nausea, dizziness, and even some head-rush due to the lack of energy. You should take a rest and keep cool after taking Diazepam.
- Dry Mouth and Dry Eyes: When our brain tries to shut down non-essential functions, it may shut down the production of saliva and the tear ducts. Most people would relax, close their eyes, or go to sleep after. Nevertheless, if you are awake and have to work, keep a bottle of water and an eye drop handy.
- Headache: It is very uncommon and rare. After all, you have just taken a relaxant. Yet, bright lights, stimulating movies, overeating, or alcohol consumption after taking Diazepam can lead to headaches. The best advice is to just relax after.
- Drowsiness/ Blur Vision: You can very much expect that. It is a relaxant and your eyes are affected. Close your eyes for a while if you feel that way. If you can lie down, do it on a side (the right side is better).
- Lightheadedness: It comes from the relaxing feeling. You seriously don’t want to think after. Too much thinking may have caused the anxiety anyway. This should be a welcoming effect to those who suffer from Anxiety Disorder.
These common side effects are easily handled by drinking some water and reducing activities after taking Valium. However, after 3-7 days, when your body has adjusted to the medication, you may return to normal activities. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery in the beginning.
Severe Side Effects:
These side effects may occur after using Valium regularly for 3-6 months. The body gets used to Diazepam, and the receptors don’t act as much. Therefore, the patient may experience a drop in GABA, Dopamine, and Endorphins. Consult a professional immediately if you feel the following:
- Severe Headache: Chronic throbbing of the brain that lasts for a long time. Our brain requires the most amount of nutrients and oxygen. Long-term use of Valium may deprive our brain of those. It is not felt initially, but over time, the blood vessels in our brain get constricted, which creates pressure. You may try aspirin or Tramadol, but the best idea is to consult a doctor.
- Lack of Coordination/ balance/ muscle fatigue: This is also an effect of long-term use. Too much relaxation may leave the muscles weak. If you experience this, you know it’s time to stop taking Valium.
- Anxiety: That’s right. It is an anxiety medication, but over time, as the medication loses its effectiveness in the body, you may start experiencing anxiety again. This anxiety may be two types. The first one is because your body has developed tolerance. The second one is feeling anxious because your supply is running out. The second one is an indication of addiction.
- Addiction: Anything that has to do with Dopamine can cause addiction. Dopamine is the reward center hormone. If you don’t get your reward, you start to feel a lack and incompleteness. You would need your medication to feel complete again.
Please read our Valium Addiction & Recovery section
5. Are Diazepam and Valium the same?
Yes, they are. Valium is the brand name and Diazepam is the generic name. If you can’t find Valium (Roche), you can still instead Diazepam instead.
6. Is it safe to buy Valium online?
In one word, yes, but you should really find a trusted online pharmacy. Do not fall victim to frauds and scams. There are a lot online. We have a list of the 5 Best Online Pharmacies. You may check them out. More information on buying Valium online is in our main article.
7. Is it legal to buy medications online without a prescription?
We promised to discuss these legal issues so here it is.
Simply put, a prescription medication without a prescription is illegal. You must have a valid doctor’s prescription to purchase it from a regular pharmacy. At least, this was the situation before. However, our healthcare system got so corrupt and complex that it is hard for average people with no regular jobs to maintain a good insurance policy. Even the veterans suffer where there is a government agency dedicated to them.
The matter of legality is relative. In order to save your own life, you can shoot someone. Ergo, if you really need the medication and don’t have the proper insurance or a valid prescription, you may order the medication online. It is an act of self-defense.
At the same time, the question of legality also depends on the jurisdiction. For the process to be fully legitimate, an American doctor, licensed by the American Medical Board can prescribe a person (inside the United States), and that person can buy the medications from an American pharmacy. Now if an American is visiting Spain, and a Spanish doctor prescribes a medication, he can then buy it in Spain. He cannot use that Spanish prescription to buy medicines in the USA. However, if he has purchased the medication in Spain and he is returning home from his trip, he can carry his remaining medications in the States even though the prescription is invalid in the USA.
Valium is a Schedule IV controlled substance in the USA. Canada and the UK follow the same rules so it’s the same in those countries. Schedule IV is at the bottom of the list. It means that there is a very low potential for abuse. Still, you will need a prescription to buy it. Many of the Schedule IV drugs are not Rx meds in other countries. They are OTC (over the counter). Therefore, it is considered legal to buy them without prescriptions.
If you place an order with an International Online Pharmacy that is outside the US jurisdiction, the purchase is valid (you did not order it in the USA). Applying the Spanish doctor rule, if there was a prescription, it is still not valid in the States anyway. Furthermore, the medication is an OTC in the jurisdiction where you placed the order. The only difference is that you didn’t hand carry it and decided to have it mailed to you.
I know it sounds a bit confusing, but I believe you understood the point. Hundreds of thousands of packages arrive in the USA every day. Even if the Customs finds a few of these packages containing medications, there is nothing much they can do. From time to time, they confiscate a package and send a letter to the receiver to personally show up and claim it. No one does that and the matter is put to rest.
8. What is the street price of Valium?
Valium street price depends on where you are and who you buy from. It is not ideal to buy these types of medications from the streets. While regular pharmacies may charge you $6.00-$8.00, you can probably buy at $4.00-$6.00 on the streets. Online pharmacies outside the USA can give it to you at $2.50- $3.50 depending on the dosage and the amount you buy.
9. Is Diazepam narcotic? Can I OD on Valium?
Yes, Diazepam has narcotic characteristics. It may be addictive if you use it for a long time, and it slows the heart rate. That means you can Overdose (OD) on Valium. The treatment is then to inject Epi (Epinephrine), a stimulant, to get the heart back to normal.
10. I have anxiety disorder and don’t have a prescription. What should I do?
First of all, don’t panic. Anxiety Disorder doesn’t necessarily mean that you need medication. Low to moderate Anxiety Disorder can be treated via safer and natural methods. Check out our article Yoga For Anxiety Relief.
If the anxiety is severe, and you cannot afford a doctor, you may purchase some Valium online. Try it out and see if it works.
11. What is the half life of Valium?
Valium generally lasts 4 hours in the body so the half life is about 2 to 2 and a half hours.
12. How long does Diazepam stay in the blood and urine?
It depends on the patient’s age, diet, and food habits. On average, traces of Diazepam can be found for a weak (7 days).
13. Will it show on a drug test result?
Yes, any benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Clonazepam) will show on a drug test if the patient took it less than 7 days before the test.
14. Can I drive after taking Valium?
We don’t recommend it for the first few days. As mentioned earlier, it may take a week for the body to get used to it. That will be the time to do regular driving.
15. Can pregnant mothers take Valium?
They can but shouldn’t. Whatever the mother ingests, the fetus gets. Unless the mother and the baby are both experiencing panic attacks (It is very possible), mothers should not take Valium. Consult a doctor though. There are situations where pregnant mothers may be given a low dose of Diazepam.
16. Can breastfeeding mothers take Valium?
The rule is the same as the pregnant mother. Diazepam passes through breast milk as well.
17. Is Valium addictive?
Yes, it is, and only if you have used it for a very long time. A week, two weeks or a month won’t do anything to you. It is only a Schedule IV. 6 to 8 months of regular use will cause addiction. Here is the point we need to understand. There is no need for anyone to take Valium regularly 3 times a day. You should only take it if you feel like there is an episode about to happen. You may also take one if you know that within an hour or so, you are entering a stressful meeting. If not, there is no need. If you are having a relaxing weekend by the lake, you don’t need it (Unless the lake is a trigger).
I have seen people use Valium year after year and not get addicted. The reason is that they don’t take them every day. It can be used only on a need basis.
18. Can I take Valium with alcohol?
You can but not recommended. It will serve no purpose. Alcohol also tends to slow the heart rate. There is a risk of OD. Therefore, don’t.
19. Can I take Valium with Marijuana?
Also the same thing as alcohol. They are both downers.
20. What medications counteract Diazepam?
Any form of stimulant would counteract the effects of Valium. Amphetamines like Adderall, Ritalin, Modafinil, and other hormonal stimulants like Epinephrine and Adrenaline can null-and-void the effects of Diazepam. Extremely strong coffee like espresso may also do the same.
There you have it. 20 Frequently asked questions and answers for your Valium FAQ. We hope we have answered all of them. If you still have more questions, you can directly ask in the comment section below.