Valium, or diazepam, belongs to the benzodiazepine drug class and can be prescribed for multiple medical conditions. Valium can be prescribed in multiple strengths including 2 mg, 5 mg, or 10 mg tablets. A 10 mg tablet, in particular, is the highest dose that can be prescribed and will have the greatest effect on the patient. Valium is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal, skeletal muscle spasm and other medical conditions, according to Drugs.com. A patient taking Valium should understand its effects.
According to MayoClinic.com, Valium depresses the central nervous system, or CNS, which means that Valium slows down the activity in the brain and the spinal cord. The slowing activity can result in strong sedative effects, which will cause extreme tiredness and fatigue in a patient particularly when taken in a 10 mg dose. Extreme sedative effects can make completing activities of daily living and work activities difficult for a patient. In addition, a patient must use caution operating heavy machinery or when driving. Therefore, a patient must take precautions when taking Valium and let his doctor know if he is experiencing sedative effects that are affecting his lifestyle.
Drugs.com states that Valium can have anti-seizure properties because of its effects on the brain. Valium is beneficial in preventing seizures because it regulates a neurotransmitter chemical that can slow down brain activity and reduce the likelihood of a patient having a seizure. Therefore, a patient who was prescribed Valium for seizure prevention must adhere to his doctor's recommendation when taking this medication. A patient should not immediately stop taking Valium or he may experience a sudden onset of seizures. A patient should always consult his doctor if he is considering a change in dosage or stopping Valium altogether.
Valium may also be prescribed as a muscle relaxant because of its inhibitory effects on the central nervous system. Specifically, Drugs.com states that Valium is useful in relieving skeletal muscle spasms due to muscle spasms caused by the central nervous system. A patient with spasticity, cerebral palsy, paraplegia, athetosis, and stiff-person syndrome can particularly benefit from Valium's chemical properties, according to Drugs.com. With severe disease, 10 mg may be used to achieve the optimum effect. A patient taking Valium for this specific disorder should adhere to his physician's recommendations to prevent a recurrence of symptoms.