Anxiety Home > How Does Valium Work?

Valium® (diazepam) is a prescription drug that is approved for the treatment of muscle spasms, anxiety, and alcohol withdrawal. It can also be used in combination with other seizure medications to treat seizures.
 
Many people may question, "How does Valium work?" Valium is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. These medicines have several effects on the body, including:
 
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
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All medicines in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why Valium and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
 
(Click Valium for more information on how Valium works, to find out what side effects may occur with this medication, and for dosing guidelines for this drug.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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