Just like any other medication, Valium can come with some side effects. Depending on the patient’s age, sex, disease (the reason for taking Valium), and duration of use, side effects may vary. We can’t list them all but have provided enough. On average, Valium has fewer side effects than other medications. It’s relatively safe.
Duration of use is important. When a patient first starts using Diazepam, there are some common and initial side effects as the body is trying to adjust to the new medication. There are also some middle-of-the-road (Moderate) side effects after several months of use. Finally, there may also be severe side effects after taking Diazepam for a long time.
1. Common Side Effects of Valium ( In the Beginning):
If you have never taken it and have just been prescribed Valium, you may feel these mild and initial 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 tears. 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 for those who suffer from Anxiety Disorder.
2. Moderate Side Effects (Middle of the Road)
Moderate side effects of Valium are wonky at best. Different people react to Diazepam differently. these occur if you have been using Valium for a while. However, they also depend on how you use the medication. Some with serious conditions like muscle spasms and epilepsy have to use take Valium pretty much regularly.
Anxiety and panic disorder patients can take them only when they need them. Therefore, the effects may be different. Therefore, do not fret if the side effects are completely opposite in nature.
- Sleepiness: If you are an irregular user, you may be sleepy after taking it. Have some coffee after.
- Insomnia: A regular user may experience insomnia and no sleep. This may be an indication that your body is used to it and it has developed a tolerance. You may require a higher dosage or change the medication completely. Please consult your doctor.
- Loss or Reduced vision: Diazepam relaxes the whole body and thereby reduced the activity of the eye muscles. Our iris is responsible for the increase and decreases the size of the lens in different lights. Its laziness to do so may cause far or nearsightedness.
- Laziness: After all, you want to relax.
- Depression: It’s also caused by low energy and too much relaxation. You may start to think that things are not worth doing.
- Anxiety: Yes, your anxiety, which you take Valium for, may return. It also is an indication that your body has developed tolerance to Diazepam.
3. 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, 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.
Whenever any of those side effects are very uncomfortable, consult your physician immediately. the common and moderate side effects can be handled at home, but the severe ones can not. People who have to take Valium regularly must have a support system in place- a close friend or a family member who can observe and monitor the patient.
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