DESCRIPTION / DEFINITIONS: Valium® (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine prescribed for the short-term management of anxiety disorders and for seizures.
ABUSE: Valium has a high dependence/addiction and abuse among many users. Attempts to withdraw from Valium will result in many withdrawal symptoms.
ADDICTION / DEPENDENCE: Half life and metabolism.
SIDE EFFECTS: Confusion, constipation, depression (see list below).
WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: Convulsions, insomnia, terror (see list below).
TREATMENT: Medical detoxification.
Valium® (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine. Valium is prescribed for the management of anxiety disorders, for the short-term relief of anxiety symptoms and for short-term use in alcohol or other benzodiazepine withdrawal. According to its label, “In animals, Valium appears to act on parts of the limbic system, the thalamus and hypothalamus, and induces calming effects. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic. The effectiveness of Valium in long-term use, that is, more than 4 months, has not been assessed by systematic clinical studies.
Valium has a high dependence/addiction and abuse among many users. Attempts to withdraw from Valium will result in many withdrawal symptoms.
HALF LIFE AND METABOLISM
The biological half life of a substance is the time it takes for a drug to lose half of its pharmacologic activity. This is significant because it affects how soon withdrawal symptoms may appear.
The half life of Valium is between 20-100 hours.
Valium is mainly metabolized through the P450 pathway in the liver and the enzyme primarily handling the metabolism is CYP3A but it is not clear how much of the metabolism is done by other enzymes.
The CYP enzymes are the major enzymes involved in drug metabolism, and since many drugs may increase or decrease the activity of various CYP isozymes, this is a major source of adverse drug interactions, since changes in CYP enzyme activity may affect the metabolism and clearance of various drugs. For example, if one drug inhibits the CYP-mediated metabolism of another drug, the second drug may accumulate within the body to toxic levels, possibly causing an overdose.
The following information is taken from the Valium label:
- acute hyperexcited states
- blurred vision
- changes in libido
- changes in salivation
- increased muscle spasticity
- minor changes in EEG patterns
- paradoxical reactions
- skin rash
- sleep disturbances
- slurred speech
- urinary retention
Valium can be a very difficult drug to stop taking.
- abdominal pain
- muscle cramps
Withdrawal from Valium should only be done under the care of a health practitioner. The safest way is to withdraw at an inpatient medical detox facility with a protocol that includes hydration, vitamins and supplements for biological balancing. Call us to talk to a Detox Advisor.