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xanax vs valium

Valium and Xanax are benzodiazepines (informally, benzos ) that help to calm anxiety , just as they treat other disorders. The generic name for Valium is diazepam, while the name for Xanax is alprazolam. Xanax is only available in tablets, but Valium is available in liquid form and can be administered by veins.

Valium has a considerably longer half- life . Both drugs work by increasing the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid ( GABA ). Both are dangerous for pregnant women.

Xanax is not recommended for people with narrow-angle glaucoma or who are taking Sporanix or Nizonal, while Valium should not be used by people with myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, severe breathing problems or apnea.

Valium and Xanax are benzodiazepines (informally, benzos ) that help to calm anxiety , just as they treat other disorders. The generic name for Valium is diazepam, while the name for Xanax is alprazolam. Xanax is only available in tablets, but Valium is available in liquid form and can be administered by veins. Valium has a considerably longer half- life . Both drugs work by increasing the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid ( GABA, in English). Both are dangerous for pregnant women. Xanax is not recommended for people with narrow-angle glaucoma or who are taking Sporanix or Nizonal, while Valium should not be used by people with myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, severe breathing problems or apnea.

Trade namesXanaxDiastat, Valium
Prescribed forManagement of acute symptoms of anxiety disorders, panic disorders, anxiety caused by depressionAnxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, seizures, panic attacks, insomnia
Pregnancy cat.D (US) [Unsafe during pregnancy; see article for details]D (US) i.e., not safe during pregnancy.
Dependence liabilityHigh (addictive)Medium-low if used as prescribed
Side effectsDrowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, memory problems, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, swelling in limbs, muscle weakness, lack of balance and coordination, slurred speech, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, sweatiness, dry mouth etc.Memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, feeling restless, muscle weakness, nausea, constipation, drooling or dry mouth, slurred speech, blurred vision, mild skin rash and loss of interest in sex.
Half-lifeImmediate release: 11.2 hours; Extended release: 10.7–15.8 hours20–100 hours (36-200 hours for main active metabolite desmethyldiazepam)
RestrictionsShould not be used by people with narrow-angle glaucoma or who are taking Sporanix or Nizoral.Should not be used by people with myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, severe breathing problems or sleep apnea.
FormsTablets (0.25, 0.5, 1 or 2mg)Liquid, tablets (2mg, 5mg, 10mg)
Legal statusPOM (UK) Schedule IV (US)Prescription Only (S4) (AU) Schedule IV (CA) CD (UK) Schedule IV (US) Schedule IV (International)
ExcretionRenalRenal
Bioavailability80–90%(93-100%)
MetabolismHepatic, via Cytochrome P450 3A4Hepatic - CYP2C19 - CYP3A4
CAS number28981-97-7439-14-5
FormulaC17H13ClN4C16H13ClN2O

 

Available forms

Valium is supplied in the form of tablets or as a liquid. The tablets are 2 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg.

Xanax is available in tablets of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg. The 2 mg tablets are marked to be divided, if preferred.

Applications

Valium is used to treat anxiety disorders, withdrawal symptoms, and muscle spasms. It can also be used to treat seizures.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety, panic and anxiety disorders associated with depression.

Mechanism of action

Valium and Xanax increase the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, calming the nervous system. It can cause drowsiness or have a sedative effect.

Effectiveness

Valium and Xanax have different levels of effectiveness for different individuals. A 1981 study found that Xanax is more effective than Valium in treating anxiety.  A study from the University of Iowa in 1990 found that Valium and Xanax were equally effective in treating panic disorders.

Dose

For adults with anxiety disorders, they are prescribed 2 mg to 10 mg of Valium, 2 to 4 times a day, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Valium can only be used for a limited time. It should not be taken for more than 12 weeks without consulting a doctor, because it is addictive.

For adults with anxiety disorder, the initial doses of Xanax are 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg three times a day. The dose can be increased up to 4 mg per day in separate doses. Doses should be lowered gradually.

Side effects

Common side effects of Valium include problems with memory, drowsiness, dizziness, feeling restless, muscle weakness, nausea, constipation, excessive salivation or dry mouth, slow or unclear speech, mild skin rashes and loss of interest in sex More serious side effects can include confusion, depression , hyperactivity , rapid breathing, muscle tremors, and loss of bladder control.

Side effects of Xanax include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, problems with memory, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, swelling of hands and feet, muscle weakness, loss of balance and coordination, slow or unclear speech, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, dry mouth, changes in appetite or weight, and loss of interest in sex. More serious side effects include depressed mood, chest pain, muscle tremors, seizures, and jaundice.

Restrictions and interactions with other medications

Valium should not be used by people who are allergic to diazepam or those who suffer from myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, serious breathing problems or apnea. It should also not be used by pregnant women. It should not be used while drinking alcoholic beverages.

Xanax should not be used by people who are allergic to benzodiazepines or by pregnant women. Those who suffer from narrow-angle glaucoma and those who are taking Sporanix or Nizonal should avoid taking Xanax. Neither should be taken together with alcoholic beverages.

Withdrawal of medications

When this medication is stopped after a long period of use, there is a risk of withdrawal side effects with Xanax and Valium. Symptoms include anxiety, seizures, hallucinations, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, numbness in the extremities and in extreme but very rare cases, can induce coma. It is recommended to reduce these risks by decreasing the dose gradually, usually in low of 0.5 mg every three days.

Potential for abuse

Like Zoloft , Prozac and Lexapro , and other serial serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Valium and Xanax are at high risk for dependence and abuse . People who have a real health condition who use these medications can become dependent on them without reaching the point of abuse. However, others may begin to abuse them until they reach the point of acquiring them illegally. Signs of abuse include the desire to do something illegal to obtain them, take them for no medical or health reasons, and need a larger dose to achieve the same results (this is called “creating tolerance”).

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