Diazepam side effects, or any side effects in general, are regarded as secondary and unwanted effects of a medication. Adverse effects occur because therapeutics are created for a specific medical purpose but it is difficult for a particular pharmaceutical to affect only a single part of the body, without affecting another.
In addition, side effects occur because the body and the formulation of medicines are complex issues. No two people are created the same and so what may be beneficial for one person, may possibly be harmful to another.
Side effects often occur when:
- You first begin treatment
- You change dosages of a particular medication
- You suddenly discontinue treatment
It is generally thought that adverse effects can only occur when you initially start using a medication. This is untrue because, although you may experience side effects because your body needs to develop tolerance to the active ingredient, so too can your body become intolerant of a therapeutic you have been using for a certain period of time.
Valium side effects are typically mild in severity, usually develop within a short while of initiating treatment and tend to disappear with continued use of the therapeutic as well.
Common Diazepam Side Effects
- Light-headedness: these are feelings of dizziness or faintness, and can occur along with a lack of balance (vertigo). This medication has been reported to reduce the blood pressure of patients, which can be a possible reason for the adverse effects of light-headedness.
Eating or drinking sugary foods and drinks may help ease the symptoms of light-headedness. Elevating your head, in relation to your body, may also be useful in reducing the severity of these effects.
- Headaches: as many as one in every 20 people experience headaches on a daily basis, but this statistic does not include headaches as an adverse effect of medications. This is one of the most frequently reported side effects of a medicine and can be characterised as a painful sensation to any part of the head.
If you have concerns about headaches as an adverse event of this anti-anxiety medication, you should keep yourself properly hydrated as inadequate hydration may lead to the worsening of this condition. Headaches can also be relieved using aromatherapy and essential oils, such as peppermint or lavender oil.
- Anxiety: in some cases, the exact condition which a medicine treats can also be a possible side effect. Anxiety as one of the side effects of diazepam is one such example, and can be presented as feelings of intense worry, fear or distress.
Staying active may be a natural means of treating anxiety as regular exercise has been proven to be beneficial to both your physical and emotional well-being.
Rare Diazepam Side Effects
- Anaemia: this is a deficiency of red blood cells in the body. Anaemia may be a cause for concern as red blood cells are responsible for the transportation of oxygen around the body. Signs of this condition might include fatigue, pale skin and shortness of breath, to name a few.
In most cases, iron deficiency anaemia can be treated by eating foods rich in iron, like beetroot. Moreover, supplements can be used to increase levels of iron in the body.
- Low levels of white blood cells: white blood cells are part of the immune system and fight off infectious diseases as well as foreign agents in the body. A low white cell blood count can be potentially serious as it may increase your risk of developing a serious infection.
Vitamin C can be useful in regulating the levels of white blood cells, and eating fruits high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruit, can aid in increasing white blood cell counts.
- Decreased blood platelets: platelets are blood cells which assist in the clotting of blood. These blood cells are important as they stop bleeding by clumping or clotting blood.
To increase your blood platelet counts, you can eat foods rich in folate or vitamin B12. This can include foods, such as broccoli and brussels sprouts. Other foods which can naturally increase your levels of blood platelets are those rich in vitamins C, D and K.
How To Avoid Diazepam Side Effects
The most efficient way of avoiding possible sides effects of Valium is to simplify your therapeutic regimen. This means that you should as few medications as medically possible. By using too many therapeutics at once, you may increase your risk of interactions between the medicines and consequential in harmful reactions. In general, medicaments are advised to not be used in conjunction with other therapeutics of similar action.
Another means of avoiding diazepam side effects is to administer the lowest effective dosage of the sleep aid. Lower dosages help minimise the chance of side effects, as opposed to higher doses which can be associated with heightened adverse events.
Having too much of the active ingredient in the body may, furthermore, prolong the elimination of the medication from the body, resulting in adverse effects.
When To Be Concerned About the Side Effects of Diazepam
- In certain rare circumstances, the side effects of Valium can include intense hypersensitivity to the active ingredient of the medication. These are allergic reactions which can be seen by the onset of hives, rashes and itchy eyes or mouth.
- In severe cases of hypersensitivity, there may be a swelling of the tongue, face and neck area. This is known as angioedema and can be fatal if there are restrictions to the respiratory system. If you experience breathing difficulties as a result of an allergic reaction to these anti-anxiety pills, you should immediately seek medical attention.
- It may also be concerning in situations where there are serious impairments to one’s mental cognitive functioning. If you feel you have regular episodes of decreased mental alertness, it is recommended that you do not perform or engage in any activity which may require you to be at your optimal level of cognitive functioning. This can include the daily tasks of driving or operating any machinery, such as mechanical tools.
- For adverse effects that may be concerning to you, you can consult your doctor who may advise an alternative dosing schedule or other means of easing the symptoms of these undesirable effects.