FRENY MENEZES
By Freny Menezes

Pharm. D

12 October 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kajal Jain
M. Pharm
valium-for-epilepsy
Table of Contents

Every year, nearly 1,50,000 Americans are diagnosed with a central nervous system caused by seizures.  In the US, over 1 in 26 people are diagnosed with a Seizure attack. Epilepsy is a most common neurological disorder that is prevalent worldwide.

Epilepsy is a central nervous system condition where the brain's electrical activity becomes an impulse; a repeated episode will be called a seizure, a sudden change in the brain's electrical functions, and it results in an alteration in the behaviour at your brain level.

It travels through the nerve cells in the brain and passes in the chemical messenger called neurotransmitters. In the patient with a seizure, the electrical pattern is affected and leads to unconsciousness, movement, or sensation.

The drug valium, a sedative agent, is used in treating epilepsy; let us understand how the drug is effective in treating epilepsy.

Valium-A short brief

Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine drug that is used as a muscle relaxant, sedative, and anti-anxiety agent. It is also used in managing seizure emergencies (status epilepticus). It is not considered for long-term use because of its sedative and tolerance effects.

Valium 5mg helps to relieve anxiety and stop seizure attacks (fits), and relaxation of the tense muscles by increasing the levels of brain cells (neurons) calming chemical known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain.

Besides this, it also relieves temporary insomnia (sleeplessness) due to anxiety disorder. Off-label uses for Valium include alcohol withdrawal syndrome, panic disorder, insomnia, vomiting, and chemotherapy-associated nausea. Valium is not recommended for mild-to-moderate anxiety and tension related to day-to-day life. 

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How does epilepsy occur?

Epilepsy is a common neurological condition in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures (fits), sensations, episodes of unusual behavior, or loss of awareness.

It may occur due to the interruption of standard connections between nerve cells in the brain. This includes a high fever, brain concussion, low blood sugar, and alcohol or drug withdrawal.

The possible causes of epilepsy may include an imbalance of neurotransmitters, tumors, strokes, brain damage from disease or injury, or a combination of these.

A Valium is a group of benzodiazepine drugs; it works by eliminating the hyperactivity level in your brain function and producing stress-free and anxiety in your body.
The drug's severe side effects are rarely shown in people. If you notice any allergic reaction, drowsiness or dizziness, contact your doctor immediately and seek help.

While the exact cause of a seizure is not known, the more common seizures are caused by the following:

1. In newborns and infants:

  • Fever/infection
  • Birth trauma
  • Metabolic or chemical imbalances in the body
  • Congenital (present at birth) problems

2. In children, adolescents, and young adults:

  • Genetic factors
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Trauma to the head or brain injury
  • Congenital conditions
  • Infection
  • Unknown reasons

3. Other possible causes of seizures may include:

  • Drug withdrawal
  • Brain tumor
  • Neurological problems
  • Use of illicit drugs
  • Medications

How does valium treat epilepsy?

Valium belongs to the group of benzodiazepine anticonvulsants that are used to treat seizures (convulsions). It shows its effect by facilitating the action of the brain's Gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters.

Studies have shown dysfunctional GABA neurotransmitters in the brain are seen in people with seizures. Particularly, benzodiazepine anticonvulsants improve the action of GABA by binding to it. This opens the chloride channel in the GABA neurotransmitter, thus enhancing its anticonvulsant activity. 

How quickly does Valium show its effect?

Diazepam is available in different formulations, including oral tablets, rectal gel, intravenous injection (IV), or intramuscular injections (IM). Oral formulation may have a more reliable absorption and controlled release when compared to IM. 

The onset of action of oral diazepam is between 5 and 60 minutes. It reaches the peak amounts in blood in 1.5 hours. The half-life drug is 46 hours or about two days. When administered via intravenous route, it has an onset of action within 1 to 3 minutes. Diazepam has long-lasting effects with duration of action of more than 12 hours.

After the administration of Valium, it is processed by the body and is detected in the body as-

  • Saliva- 1 to 10 days after administration
  • Urine- 1 to 6 weeks after administration
  • Blood- 6 to 48 hours after administration
  • Hair- up to 90 days after administration

Valium Dosage

For seizures

2 to 10 mg orally dosed 2 to 4 times daily as adjunctive support therapy. 0.2mg/kg Rectal gel is another option for intermittent treatment of seizures. Its dose may be repeated in 4 to 12 hours as per the requirement. Do not exceed five doses in a month or more than one dose every five days.

For status epilepticus

0.15 to 0.20 mg/kg IV per dose may be repeated only once if needed. Its dose should not be exceeded more than 10 mg per single dose. Rectal administration of 0.2 to 0.5 mg/kg administered one time. Do not exceed 20 mg per dose.

Who Should Not Take Valium?

If you are hypersensitive to diazepam or inactive ingredients, you should not take it. Kids below 6 months old should not take diazepam. You should not take diazepam if you have myasthenia gravis, sleep apnea syndrome, acute narrow-angle glaucoma, or severe lung or liver problems.

If you want to buy valium online you should always contact your healthcare provider because there are conditions in which you cannot use Valium which are as follows: 

  • Have bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, or other breathing problems.
  • Have a history of depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
  • Have suffered from alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Have a liver or kidney problems.
  • Are planning to breastfeed or breastfeeding 
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • Older adults
  • Talk to your medical practitioner about the risks and benefits of using diazepam if you are 65 or older. 

Side Effects Of Valium

Diazepam (Valium) slows down the brain’s activity and interferes with an individual's thinking, judgment, and motor skills. You also shouldn’t operate machinery, drive, or do other activity that requires alertness until you know how this drug affects you.

You should not use other medicines that can slow down your brain activity or drink alcohol while taking this drug. The following list contains some critical side effects that might occur while taking Valium. This list does not include all possible adverse effects.

Common Side Effects

Severe Side Effects

Muscle weakness

Severe Drowsiness

Drowsiness

Severe Dizziness

Tiredness

breathlessness

Tremor

Paranoia

Headache

Confusion

Constipation

Seizures

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Epilepsy is typically a long-lasting condition, but most people with it are able to have normal lives if their seizures are well controlled.

For 70% of patients with epilepsy, drugs can control seizures. Valium is effective in treating epilepsy. It is used for short-term treatment only and comes with potential risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

It is very effective in treating epilepsy. It starts working in the regions of the brain, thus inform your doctor about your medical history before starting the treatment and get a consultation. 

 

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