Valium is the brand name for diazepam, a sedative, which was approved by the FDA in 1963. Diazepam is a prescription medication which is available both as a generic drug and under the brand names Valium, Stesolid, Diapam and Antenex. Diazepam is a long-acting drug in a class of medications known as benzodiazepines. Here's how diazepam works: GABA is a neurotransmitter found in the brain. When the brain becomes over-excited, GABA acts to inhibit this excitement. When diazepam enters the brain, it binds to a receptor on GABA. This creates a powerful inhibitory effect, causing sedation and reducing anxiety. Diazepam was historically known as "mother's little helper" because of its usefulness in treating anxiety and panic attacks. It can also be prescribed for patients with seizures. Sometimes, diazepam is administered prior to medical procedures that require sedation. Valium is available orally, rectally, via injenction, and as a powder that can be inhaled. Oral options include tablets, capsules and a liquid form. Dosages vary from 2 to 30 milligrams.Take diazepam with water. Because diazepam can be habit-forming, never take extra doses. The most common side effects of diazepam include drowsiness, dizziness and constipation, but ask your doctor for a complete list.Also, tell your physician immediately if you experience slurred speech, tremors, sleep disturbances, yellowing skin, or any other significant changes. Diazepam should not be combined with SSRI antidepressants and should be avoided by pregnant or nursing mothers. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with diazepam. Valium was the most prescribed medication in the United States from its release in 1963 until1982, and is still one of the most commonly used benzodiazepines. Diazepam should always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking this medication. "The information in this video is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise of your physician. Always consult your doctor before using this drug."
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012