Valium for Alcohol Withdrawal
A healthcare provider may prescribe Valium® (diazepam) for several conditions, including treating alcohol withdrawal. Valium is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines. These medicines have several effects on the body, such as relaxing the muscles, impairing short-term memory, and reducing anxiety.
In general, stopping alcohol "cold turkey" is not typically a good idea. In fact, it can be very dangerous. People who drink heavily or frequently may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking alcohol too quickly. Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include slight shakiness (the "shakes"), alcohol cravings, nervousness, depression, or clammy skin. More severe symptoms may include:
- Delirium tremens ("DTs"), a group of symptoms including confusion, agitation, and hallucinations
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- A very rapid heart rate (tachycardia).
Alcohol withdrawal can cause life-threatening complications. When using Valium for alcohol withdrawal, you should always seek your healthcare provider's supervision (hospitalization is often necessary). Valium can help with agitation, shakiness, and delirium tremens associated with alcohol withdrawal.
(Click Valium Uses for a closer look at using this medication for alcohol withdrawal and various other conditions. This article also discusses how Valium works and offers information on possible off-label uses of the drug.)