SUMAYYA
13 October 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kajal Jain
M. Pharm
is-valium-a-controlled-substance
Table of Contents

More than 50 million Americans have sleep problems of all ages. The state of sleep and health reveals that sleep disorders are common in both men and women in America. The most common ones are insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. 
 
Many drugs are available in the market to treat sleep disorders; Since The drug valium has the properties of a sedative, it helps to induce sleep in people. Due to the valium abuse and addiction to the drug, it should be used as a controlled substance. 

Let us understand more about valium in detail, 

What Is Valium?

Sternbach and Reeder first synthesized diazepam in 1959. The drug was first marketed as Valium (Hoffmann-LaRoche) in 1963, and soon after that, it emerged as one of the most commonly prescribed oral medications.

In November 1963, the Synthesised Administration first approved diazepam use.

Valium is a benzodiazepine drug used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and seizure disorders. 

Indications Of Valium

  • Valium finds use in sleeplessness, anxiety, and withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.
  • It is used to sedate patients before various medical procedures.
  • Other indications of Valium include:
  1. Benzo withdrawal
  2. Irritable bowel syndrome
  3. Panic attacks
  4. Neurological diseases
  5. Muscle spasms
  6. Meniere’s disease
  7. Seizures and tremors

How Does Valium Work?

Most of these effects of diazepam are assumed to be caused by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

The drug relieves muscle tension and overactivity by slowing the nerve cells responsible for it. Additionally, it decreases overactive brain circuits that trigger fear and anxiety responses. 

Is Valium A Controlled Substance?

Diazepam, the active ingredient in valium, is a Schedule IV controlled substance because of the possibility of abuse and physical and psychological dependence.

Diazepam is a member of the benzodiazepine pharmacological class. Controlled medications like benzodiazepines are frequently used to help people with anxiety and seizure disorders. 

Take valium only for four weeks with a consultation from your doctor; if you take more than four weeks, you will likely take a reduced drug dosage.
You should not take the drug in a long dosage. Take the medication precisely what is prescribed by a doctor with the amount of correct dosage and frequency.

Why Is Valium A Controlled Substance?

As a benzodiazepine, Valium (diazepam) is categorised as a Schedule IV controlled substance. Although Schedule IV substances are thought to have lesser abuse potential, they nonetheless provide inherent hazards when taken improperly.

Drugs and other substances are classified as Schedule IV so because abusing them can result in far less physical or psychological dependence than drugs or other substances classified as Schedule III.

Side Effects Of Valium

Most side effects should be taken care of, mainly the severe ones. Common side effects can be solved, but the severe side effects would affect for longer durations.

Common Side Effects

Severe Side Effects

Drowsinessines

Severe Drowsiness

Muscle weakness

Severe Dizziness

Feeling Tired

Breathlessness

Fatigue

Confusion

Problem in Balancing

Severe Seizures

 

Is Valium Addictive?

The benzodiazepine drug Valium is addictive and has effects that persist longer than other drugs in its class. If Valium is used contrary to the doctor's instructions, an addiction can develop quickly. After using Valium for a while, the brain becomes less able to operate normally without it.

Signs Of Valium Addiction

Needing higher doses of Valium to experience its effects is one of the clear signs of an addiction to the drug. Intense cravings for the medication are one of the other indications of valium addiction. Other signs include:

  • Isolation from friends and family.
  • Persistent use despite drug-related issues.
  • A decline in interest of once-fun activities.
  • Ignoring responsibilities.

Symptoms Of Withdrawal

Once a person develops a tolerance to the effects of Valium, stopping use may result in withdrawal symptoms. Valium withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal and muscle cramps
  • Tremor
  • Seizures

Your withdrawal symptoms could get worse if you suddenly stop using the medication.

Warnings And Precautions Of Valium

  1.     Due to the risk of apnea, cardiac arrest, or both, use extreme caution when giving diazepam to old, debilitated, or patients with low pulmonary reserve.
  2.     Combined alcohol, barbiturates, or other CNS depressants raise the risk of apnea and depression.
  3.     The dose of the opioid should be decreased by at least one-third and given in short doses when diazepam is used in conjunction with an opioid analgesic.
  4.     Use caution while combining diazepam with other psychoactive substances. There is possible potentiation of the pharmacological effect.
  5.     Diazepam should be administered cautiously to patients with impaired renal function since its metabolites are excreted in the urine.
  6.     Patients who are elderly or debilitated could need lower doses.
  7.     Individuals receiving IV diazepam should be advised against performing dangerous tasks requiring mental attention, such as operating heavy equipment or driving a motor vehicle.
  8.     Avoid alcoholic beverages after the administration of IV benzodiazepines.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

VALIUM can cause misuse, addiction, physical dependency, and withdrawal symptoms. Identify the level of risk in each patient before prescribing Valium. Monitor all patients regularly for the development of any unusual behaviors.

When a patient no longer requires Valium or if they have a history of benzodiazepine addiction, a doctor will gently wean them off the prescription. It can be dangerous to stop using Valium suddenly and may result in rebound symptoms, including anxiety.

This can be uncomfortable and may result in drug misuse relapse, which raises the danger of an overdose. If you notice signs or symptoms of valium abuse or addiction, seek emergency treatment immediately.

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  • Juergens, Steven. "Alprazolam and diazepam: addiction potential." Journal of substance abuse treatment 8.1-2 (1991): 43-51. From  https://doi.org/10.3109/10826087109045533 Obtain on 13/10/2022
  • Pevnick, Jeffrey S., Donald R. Jasinski, and Charles A. Haertzen. "Abrupt withdrawal from therapeutically administered diazepam: Report of a case." Archives of General Psychiatry 35.8 (1978): 995-998. From https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770320089008 Obtain on 13/10/2022 
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