Valium is the marketing name for the generic drug Diazepam which is used to relieve mainly anxiety, panic attacks and sometimes seizures. Other illnesses like insomnia, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal and certain types of epilepsy are also treated with valium. Though effective, the drug is addictive in nature and many people abuse it while never realizing its adverse effects.
Valium, when taken, acts as a sedative on the central nervous system by calming it down. The drug also slows down the normal brain functions during the period. The result is an instant relief from anxiety or panic attacks. Regular use as prescribed by the doctor prevents the illnesses from surfacing for a prolonged period of time.
The effects of valium can be experienced right away after consuming it. It is especially beneficial for patients prone to anxiety and panic attacks. Valium effectively calms down the central nervous system by amplifying the effect of the neurotransmitter, gamma-amino butyric Acid (GABA). It is the job of the GABA to sooth the nervous system. So by increasing the effectiveness of GABA, valium takes away the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks providing instant relief for patients.
One of the prominent uses of valium is to relax the muscle in order to reduce seizures. Seizures occur when brain sends electrical stimulators to the muscles resulting in uncontrollable convulsions. Valium, by increasing the effectiveness of the GABA calms the nervous system which effectively reduces the brain stimulants.
Valium essentially acts as a sedative. The sedation occurs when the drug amplifies the effects of the GABA. Similarly, the drug slows down the normal brain functions which cause patients to feel drowsy. Hence, valium is also prescribed for patients suffering from sleeplessness.
Since valium causes drowsiness, patients are advised not to perform any task that requires concentration, like driving or cooking while under the influence.
• Confusion-The most prominent among the adverse effects of valium are confusion and anterograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is the reduced ability to create and retain new memories. And the drowsiness effect of the drug, especially in higher doses can cause a sense of confusion. These effects are more pronounced among the elderly whose brain function is already slowed down due to aging.
• Short term memory loss- Constant use of valium in higher dosages can cause short term memory loss.
• Valium's paradoxical effects- Valium is used to sooth the nerves and provide a calming, relaxing effect. But sometimes, the resulting effect of the drug can be paradoxical to its desired effect. Some patients may find that their symptoms have become worse like increased muscle cramps and seizures. Others could complain of irritability, nervousness, excitement and sometimes even violence and rage.
• Valium Addiction- Valium is an addictive drug which means that restraint should be taken while using the drug. It is possibly the biggest and dangerous adverse effect of valium. Like any other addiction, patients start using valium casually and in smaller dosages. But over time, intense cravings for the drug start to develop and patients would find it difficult to function without it. Also, smaller dosages may not be enough and patients go looking for higher dosages to get the desired effect. Valium, when abused, is harmful to the body resulting in severe side effects. Over dosing on valium can invoke dangerous side effects.
• Valium Withdrawal Symptoms- Withdrawal effects of the drugs take effect when an user stops taking valium abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms include a return of the earlier symptoms of the disease like, anxiety and seizures. The withdrawal symptoms do not occur to everyone and it can be reduced by gradually reducing the dosage before completely quitting.
• Other side effects of valium include diarrhea, breathing difficulties, blurry vision, irregular heartbeat, changes in libido and skin rashes among other things.
• Over dosing on valium can be dangerous if not life threatening. Patients who have taken too much valium can experience severe drowsiness, confusion and they could even fall into a coma. It also causes impaired motor functions, loss of balance and loss of coordination functions. Valium overdosed patients are treated as a medical emergency and should be hospitalized immediately.