What VALIUM is used for

VALIUM is used for anxiety. Anxiety or tension associated with the normal stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with medicines.

VALIUM is used to relax muscles.

VALIUM can also be used to treat trembling, confusional states or anxiety associated with alcohol withdrawal. It is also used to treat panic attacks.

VALIUM belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. They are thought to work by their action on brain chemicals.

Benzodiazepines are not recommended as the only treatment of severe mental illnesses and should not be used alone to treat depression.

Your doctor, however, may have prescribed VALIUM for another purpose.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why VALIUM has been prescribed for you.

In general, benzodiazepines such as VALIUM should be taken for short periods only (around 2 to 4 weeks). Continuous long term use is not recommended unless advised by your doctor.

The use of benzodiazepines may lead to dependence on the medicine.

This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Before you take VALIUM
Do not take VALIUM if:

you have had an allergic reaction to VALIUM, any other benzodiazepine medicine or any ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
you have severe and chronic lung disease
you have severe liver disease
you have temporary stops in breathing during sleep
you suffer from severe muscle weakness
you have drug or alcohol addiction
the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering
the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.
If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.

If you are not sure whether you should be taking VALIUM, talk to your doctor.

Do not give VALIUM to children less than six months old.
Before you start to take it:

Your doctor must know about all the following before you start to take VALIUM.

if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
It is not known whether VALIUM is harmful to an unborn baby when taken by a pregnant woman. If there is a need to take VALIUM when you are pregnant your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits to you and the unborn baby.
if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
VALIUM may pass into the breast milk and cause drowsiness and/or feeding difficulties in the baby. VALIUM is not recommended for use while breastfeeding.
if you have any other health problems including:
– liver, kidney or lung disease
– high or low blood pressure
– glaucoma (high pressure in the eye)
– depression, schizophrenia or other mental illness
– epilepsy (fits)
– history of alcohol or drug abuse
if you drink alcohol
Alcohol may increase the effects of VALIUM.
if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines including any that you have bought without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines may interfere with VALIUM. These medicines include:

other sleeping tablets, sedatives or tranquillisers
medicines for depression
medicines to control fits
medicines for allergies or colds such as antihistamines
pain relievers
muscle relaxants
cimetidine and omeprazole – a medicine used to treat ulcers
disulfiram – a medicine used in alcohol abuse
cisapride – a medicine used to treat gastric reflux
ketoconazole – a medicine used to treat fungal infections.

These medicines may be affected by VALIUM or may affect how well VALIUM works. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you what to do if you are taking any of these medicines. They also have a more complete list of medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking VALIUM.

If you are taking any other medications, check with your doctor before you start to take VALIUM.

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