VALIUM - CMI
CONSUMER MEDICINE INFORMATION
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Valium.
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Valium against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
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 Injection is also used to treat status epilepticus or spasms of tetanus.
Valium belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. They are thought to work by their action on brain chemicals.
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
* 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.
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) if you have any other health problems including:
* liver, kidney or lung disease
* high or low blood pressure
* myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness)
* depression, psychosis or schizophrenia
* epilepsy (fits)
4) if you drink alcohol regularly
Alcohol may increase the effects of Valium.
5) 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 healthfood 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 eg. antihistamines
* pain relievers
* muscle relaxants
* cimetidine - a medicine used to treat ulcers
* disulfiram - a medicine used in alcohol abuse
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