The popularity of Valium in the treatment of anxiety disorders is due not only to its clinical efficacy, but also to the low severity of side effects and safety of long-term large doses. The low potential for the onset of drug dependence made Valium more preferred anti-anxiety medication, than anxiolytics.
In monotherapy, Valium can be used to treat various anxiety disorders. In a combined therapy, the benzodiazepine tranquilizer may serve as a supplement for the antiepileptic therapy or in the treatment of muscle spasms.
The action mechanism of Valium in the treatment of anxiety disorders is based on the ability to bind to benzodiazepine receptors. As a result of increasing the inhibitory effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) over the benzodiazepine receptors, the neuronal excitability of certain parts of the brain decreases.
To treat anxiety disorders, patients are prescribedValium tablets, each of which can contain 2 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg of the active ingredient Diazepam.
Valium dosage is carefully selected on an individual bases, depending on the severity of the anxiety disorder symptoms, patient’s age and condition.
- Infants and children older than 6 months of age can start taking the medicine with 1-2.5 mg, 3-4 times a day. The daily dose can be increased as necessary or depending on the tolerability;
- The daily dose of Valium for adults is 2-10 mg daily in 2-4 divided doses;
- The maximum dose of Valium for the elderly is 2-2.5 mg 1-2 times a day.
Each month, the treating physician should evaluate the appropriateness of further Valiumuse. To avoid side effects and withdrawal syndrome, patients should discontinue the medication by gradually reducing its dosage.
Valium strengthens the neuromuscular blockade, caused by Gallamine, and relaxes muscles when interacting with Suxamethonium. In addition, Valium can increase the serum concentration of Phenytoin, which increases the risk of toxicological effects.
The most complete absorption of Valium requires an acidic stomach. Since antacids neutralize hydrochloric acid in the stomach, they can reduce the absorptionrate (yet not the degree) of Valium. If a patient takes the benzodiazepine drug once a day with antacids, the onset of the anxiolytic effect may be delayed.
Since Aminophylline, Theophylline and Caffeine inhibit GABAergic transmission, they are able to reduce the therapeutic effect of Valium.
Respiratory depression is possiblewhen Valium interacts with alcohol, as well as severe mental and motor retardation. The pharmacokinetic interaction of ethanol with Valium depends on the frequency of alcohol consumption – with a single use, there is an inhibition of the benzodiazepinemetabolism, with a systematic use – activation.
Valium can slow down the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, so some patients may experience constipation.
Other side effects that are possible during Valium treatment are increased fatigue and weakness, potentially reversible cognitive impairment, fever, or a decrease in appetite.
A few tips for the treatment of anxiety disorders with Valium, to make it the most effective and safe:
Elderly patients and people with liver failure need to carefully select a dose of Valium;
In smokers, the sedative effect of Valium is less pronounced than in people who lead a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, during the period of benzodiazepine use, patients arerecommendedto refrain from smoking;
When using Valium, patients are not recommended to perform work that requires quick reaction or is associated with an increased risk of harm as a result of concentration focusing issues.