What happens when you mix Valium and Xanax? They are from the same drug class, so they can intensify each other’s side effects to dangerous levels.

Both Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam) are benzodiazepines that have similar effects and intended uses. But is one better than the other? And can you take Valium and Xanax together safely?

Article at a Glance:

The main points to remember about Xanax and Valium include:

  • Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a benzodiazepine
  • Valium is the brand name for diazepam, which is also a benzodiazepine
  • A few situations exist where a doctor might prescribe the two together, but it is uncommon
  • Mixing the two drugs without a prescription can lead to trouble breathing and excessive sedation
  • Only mix Valium and Xanax if you have valid prescriptions and are under the supervision of a doctor

Can You Take Valium and Xanax Together?

Valium and Xanax can be taken together, but this combination is only medically appropriate in certain circumstances. Xanax and Valium are both drugs that fall within the benzodiazepine class, so prescribing them together is a duplication of treatment. A doctor should usually try raising the dose of one before prescribing a second one.

Valium and Xanax each have diseases and conditions that they treat. Some examples of dual conditions where it might be okay to prescribe both Xanax and Valium together are:

It would never be medically appropriate to prescribe Valium and Xanax for the same condition. They work through the same mechanism in the body and adding them together would only increase side effects and the potential for substance abuse.

Taking them together can greatly increase the risk of life-threatening breathing problems, sedation or coma. Adding alcoholopioids, or other depressants will also greatly increase this risk.

Side Effects of Mixing Valium and Xanax

Since the two drugs have similar side effects, mixing Valium and Xanax will intensify the side effects of each. Common side effects can include:

  • Balance problems
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Light-headedness
  • Memory problems
  • Problems with speech
  • Shortness of breath

Valium vs Xanax: Key Difference Between The Two

Because both drugs have similar effects and use, the choice between Valium vs Xanax may seem like valid debate. But both substances have their differences. The main difference between Xanax and Valium is how long each works in the body.

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a short-acting benzodiazepine prescribed to treat panic and anxiety disorders. Xanax starts working in about 30 minutes and continues working for about three to four hours. Since panic attacks happen quickly, but also resolve quickly, this time frame makes Xanax great for treating the symptoms of anxiety.

Valium, on the other hand, is from the same class of drugs and is the brand name for diazepam. Valium works for about four to six hours and is prescribed for alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures.

Xanax does not work well for alcohol withdrawal because it does not work in the body for very long and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can last for days. A benzodiazepine that lasts longer than Xanax does is ideal for alcohol withdrawal so that the person does not have to re-dose every few hours.

Xanax could work for seizures but does not come in the right dosage forms. It only comes orally, and someone having a seizure cannot swallow. Valium comes as an injection or rectal formulation for people having seizures.

Benzodiazepine addiction is a serious and difficult addiction to treat. If you or a loved one needs help for Xanax or Valium abuse, please call The Recovery Village to speak with a representative. We can help guide you to a rehab facility in your area that provides high-quality care.

Camille Renzoni
Editor – Camille Renzoni
Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in mental health first aid and encourages people who face substance use disorders to ask for the help they deserve. Read more
Conor Sheehy
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS, CACP
Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read more

MedlinePlus. “Alprazolam.” 2017. Accessed June 17, 2019.

MedlinePlus. “Diazepam.” 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.