Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine antidepressant prescription drug, most frequently recommended for people with anxiety or insomnia. Due to its potential for abuse and addiction and its properties, benzodiazepine drugs are classified as narcotics.
Valium acts on the central nervous system by slowing down electrical impulses in the brain. This interaction results in a calming, soothing, and quieting effect. Its tranquilizing effects are also known to assist with seizure prevention, muscle spasms (restless leg syndrome), and abnormal body movement. Additionally, it is sometimes used to help with alcohol withdrawal side effects. Valium makes the individual feel drowsy and can alter moods as well.
When taken as prescribed, Valium is a relatively safe drug with a low level of side effects. However, if Valium is consumed with other drugs, the risk of dangerous side effects is present. When one combines Valium with drugs that affect the central nervous system, there is a significant increase in the risk of side effects including more moderate ones, such as drowsiness, memory loss, and confusion, and more serious ones, such as breathing problems, hallucinations, depression, rage reactions, overdosing, coma and even death.
- Phenothiazines -used to treat serious mental and emotional disorders, including schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Drugs include Serentil, Thorazine, Duraclon, Robinul, Anectine.
- Antipsychotics -known as neuroleptics or major tranquilizers and used to manage psychosis found with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Drugs include Haldol, Loxitane, Moban, Prolixin, Serentil.
- Anxiolytics/sedatives -medicines that work on the central nervous system to relieve anxiety, aid sleep, or have a calming effect. Drugs include: Benadryl, Nytol, Triaminic, Unisom, Lunesta, Atarax.
- Sleep medications –prescription sleeping pills. Drugs include Restoril, Halcion, Sonata, Ambien, Intermezzo.
- Narcotic analgesics -group of medicines (opiates and opioids) that relieve acute and chronic severe pain by binding to opioid receptors. Drugs include morphine, heroin, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl, methadone, tramadol, oxycodone.
- Anesthetics -medical agents that produce a local or general loss of sensation; used for surgery or pain management. Drugs include Amytal, Brevital, Surital, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Ketamine.
- Sedative antihistamines –drugs used for relieving or managing conditions that produce itch sensations. Drugs include Clemastine, Ketotifen, Alimemazine, Chlorphenamine, Hydroxyzine.
- Anticonvulsants -group of pharmacological agents used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. Drugs include Lamictal, Gabapentin, Neurontin, Clonazepam, Rivotril, Carbamazepine.
- Barbiturates -central nervous depressants that reduce the activity of nerves causing muscle relaxation, along with reduced heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Drugs include Seconal, Butisol, Amytal, Nembutal, Fioricet.
- MAO inhibitors –antidepressant drugs that elevate the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain. Drugs include Parnate, Nardil, Marplan, Emsam.
- Alcoholic beverages
Harmful interactions can occur when using Valium and any of the drugs listed above. Additionally, combining these drugs with Valium presents a greater chance of developing a chemical dependence and addiction.