Valium, brand name for diazepam, is a drug that belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seizures or muscle spasms. Valium should only used under the supervision of a doctor. Avoid Valium if you have a muscle weakness disorder such as myasthenia gravis because the drug may cause further weakening of muscles. Other side effects associated with valium are related to your digestive system and can cause nutritional concerns.
Valium's sedative effect may cause your bowels to be sluggish, leading to constipation, according to Drugs.com. Constipation is infrequent bowel movements or difficulty with passage of stool. You can prevent constipation during Valium therapy by eating high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of water. Fiber adds bulk to stool and makes it easier to be removed from your body. Water prevents constipation by softening the bowels. Examples of high-fiber foods include whole grain breads, cereals, raw fruits and vegetables.
Valium may cause gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and appetite loss, according to Drugs.com. These side effects may cause decreased food intake, which may lead to deficiency of key nutrients. Contact your doctor if these effects persists for more than a week. Eat small frequent meals instead of three large meals. Small meals are easy to digest, and they cause less less gastrointestinal disturbances.
Valium may cause a dry mouth, drooling and swallowing problems. These side effects may interfere with the digestion of food. Saliva lubricates food, which makes swallowing of food easier. Saliva also contains enzymes that break down some of the starch in food. If you have a dry mouth due to Valium use, you may not digest foods properly.
Less serious side effects of Valium include dizziness, drowsiness, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, memory loss, spinning sensations, muscle weakness, blurred vision, double vision, slurred speech, itching, a skin rash and loss of interest in sex, according to Drugs.com. Contact your doctor if these side effects do not go away. Seek immediate medical care if you develop difficulty breathing, seizures, a shuffling walk, fever, persistent fine tremors or a severe skin rash.