Is Valium a muscle relaxer?
Muscles relaxers are the group of drugs which is used to relieve the pain and discomfort caused due to muscle spasms. Muscle spasms occur as a result of the involuntary contraction of the muscles, which can be attributed to a number of conditions related to the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, cerebral palsy and long-term injuries to the head and back are examples of conditions that can lead to muscle spasms.
The role of Valium
Valium, which is the brand name for diazepam, is well known for its role as an anxiolytic. The drug is usually prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is also used as a drug to attain relief from the symptoms brought about by alcohol withdrawal known as delirium tremens.
However, what many people are not aware of is the fact that Valium is also beneficial in treating lower back pain and neck pain that arises due to short-term injuries like whiplash. It is one of the muscle relaxers available on the market which are used when people are troubled by acute muscle spasms. However, it cannot be used for more than a week or two due to the risk of dependency that it carries.
Valium belongs to a group of drugs which is classified as benzodiazepines. The drug works by enhancing the effect of GABA, thereby leading to a moderation of activity of the nerve signals in the brain.
Follow the instructions
When you are prescribed muscle relaxers, you need to ensure that you abide by the instructions that are provided to you by the doctor. Valium is usually given in the form of a tablet or capsule. It needs to be ensured that the drug is taken in the right dosage since overdosing can be detrimental to the health. Usually, the drug is started off with a low dosage and the dose is increased gradually so as to ensure that body has the time to get used to it. The same is done when the drug is withdrawn i.e. it is tapered off.
Furthermore, while using Valium, you need to ensure that you are aware of the side effects that it can cause which would enable you to keep an eye out for them, thereby leading to prompt consultation if required.
Side effects that one needs to be cautious about
Every medication introduced into the market carries a certain risk of side effects. What needs to be ensured is that the side effects fall short in comparison to the benefits that it has to offer.
If we talk about Valium, one of the major concerns regarding the drug is the risk of dependency. In the recent times, abuse of the drug has become rather common. It is due to this reason that the drug is not used as a muscle relaxer for chronic conditions and its role is limited to acute conditions.
Common side effects caused by Valium include sleepiness, weakness, lightheadedness, forgetfulness, confusion, unsteadiness and aggression.
While you are on the drug, it is advisable to refrain from consuming alcohol. You should also endeavor to avoid activities like driving or operating machinery after you take the drug due to the drowsiness that it might induce.
Diazepam is avoided in patients suffering from breathing difficulties such as myasthenia gravis or other lung-related problems.
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