Valium is one of the best known and oldest anti anxiety drugs out there. It’s also available under an alternative name – as Diastat. Both Valium and Diastat are essentially the same drug, since they are based on an active compound called diazepam. Valium is designed as a quick, well tolerated and reliable way to induce relaxation to an overly stressed nervous system. It’s main applications include the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, but it can also be used as a sleeping aid.
It’s effects can be very potent, especially in higher dosages, so it’s not uncommon to see Valium used as a pre-surgery sedative, meaning that it’s used to relax and prepare surgery patients for potentially stressful procedures. It can even be used as a general anesthetic, especially if other alternatives are not available, or if patients in question are allergic to them.
Valium is able to achieve it’s relaxing effects thanks to its unique mechanism of action. Valium affects the production of a specific chemical that’s naturally found in the human brain. This chemical, called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is actually a neurotransmitter, meaning that it’s function is to transmit neural signals across the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. What makes gamma-Aminobutyric acid different from most other neurotransmitters (like serotonin) is that’s it actually slows down the activity of the brain. Valium induces relaxation and eases anxiety by increasing the amount of gamma-Aminobutyric acid in the human organism.
Valium is most often prescribed to people affected by various anxiety related disorders. It’s effective as a treatment for both mild and temporary issues, like elevated stress levels or trouble sleeping, as well as for the treatment of moderate to severe anxiety, including panic attacks and OCD.
Patients who are taking Valium for the first time, especially if they never taken any prescription drugs for anxiety treatment should start with a small initial dose, since their bodies have yet to develop a tolerance to the effects of the medicine. First time Valium users will sometimes find that the drug creates a feeling of drowsiness and dizziness. This is normal – it’s a part of the process and your body will quickly adjust to the drug, making the side effect go away. It usually takes just a few days for these initial side effects to completely disappear on their own.
The medicine is also commonly used to treat a number of acute and chronic psychological and psychiatric issues and disturbances. These include seizures, body tremor, delirious episodes, manic stages of bi polar disorder and insomnia, among others. Valium can also be used as an efficient pre-surgery sedative, a general anesthetic and even for pain management, although in much higher doses than those used for anxiety treatment.
If you are using or considering using Valium, or another similar, benzodiazepine based drug to treat your condition, you should know that while it’s an effective way to treat the immediate symptoms, it’s not intended to be a long term solution, but rather something that can enable you to better function until you can work on the source of your problem.