Valium, a commonly used drug in medical practice, serves as a tranquilizer. Derived from diazepam, it is regarded by the World Health Organization as an essential tool with proven efficacy for society.
Nevertheless, its potent impact on the body and the risk of psychological addiction liken it to a “real” drug and classify it among controlled psychotropic substances. Diazepam, a key active component of Valium, is listed as a narcotic substance nearly on par with morphine.
Valium belongs to the benzodiazepine group and is created by combining the main substance with benzyl alcohol. This gives it the property of enhancing the effects of alcohol, analgesics, sleeping pills, neuroleptics, and other drugs.
It is prescribed during severe stages of addiction to intensify its effects, but this can lead to increased cravings and create a separate problem. Being a second-generation anxiolytic, Valium depresses the central nervous system and comes with various hazardous side effects, necessitating strict adherence to the doctor’s prescription.
The drug is available in pill and coated pill forms, as well as solutions for intravenous and intramuscular administration in ampoules containing 5, 10, or more units (each with 10 micrograms). The active substance’s volume in 1 ml of the solution is 5 mg. Diazepam and Valium are some of its analogues.
As per the doctor’s instructions, Valium is administered intravenously at specific intervals, typically ranging from 2 to 8 hours, depending on the indications. The recommended dosages are as follows:
- For anxiety and agitation: 10-20 mg each.
- For cases of tetanus or repeated epileptic seizures lasting 30 minutes or more: 10-20 mg is prescribed.
- Before surgery to alleviate muscle spasms: 10 mg each.
- For infants aged 5 weeks and above: The drug is slowly injected (drip) up to a maximum dose of 5 mg.
- During childbirth in obstetrics: 10-20 mg.
- For children aged 5 years and older: The maximum dosage is 10 mg.
Exceeding the prescribed dose of Valium can lead to the following symptoms:
- Increasing drowsiness, causing reduced awareness of one’s surroundings.
- Agitation despite the sedative effects.
- Diminished response to stimuli, including pain.
- Impaired pronunciation and speech.
- Decreased heart rate.
- Inconsistent movements.
- Tremors in the hands, head, or the entire body.
- Depressed respiratory and cardiac functions, leading to loss of consciousness, coma, and a risk of death.
In case of overdose, immediate actions should be taken, including gastric lavage and the use of activated charcoal. Artificial ventilation of the lungs and maintenance of pressure may be necessary. Hemodialysis is not particularly effective in treating Valium overdose. Flumazenil is used as an “antidote,” but it is not recommended for treating epilepsy.
The Medical Use and Effects of Valium on the Body
Valium, available in pill and ampoule form, finds its application in medicine for alleviating psychomotor excitability in various conditions, including neurosis, panic attacks, fears, anxiety, and emotionally unstable states.
Functioning as a potent sedative and hypnotic, Valium exhibits anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties. However, its potential for inducing addiction poses a significant risk. Patient feedback indicates that addiction, primarily of a psychoemotional nature, can develop with Valium use.
The drug operates by reducing the excitability of the brain’s “subcortex” and inhibiting the cells within its reticular formation. Doctors prescribe Valium with individualized dosages to combat seizures, epilepsy, tetanus, withdrawal syndrome, alcohol delirium, and paroxysmal anxiety.
Additionally, Valium serves as a medicine for relieving emotional stress in various medical contexts, including premedication before diagnostic procedures and preoperative preparation when patients may experience unpleasant sensations.
However, Valium also carries a range of negative effects. Notably, esteemed researchers studying drug complications have observed its teratogenic effects, linking its use during pregnancy to fetal abnormalities and hypotension. Women taking Valium, even in tablet form, report disturbances in ovulation and gynecomastia.