Valium vs Xanax: What’s the difference?
Both Valium and Xanax are the medications helpful in treating anxiety, comes under the class of benzodiazepine drugs, also called sedatives. Although both the pills work almost similarly, there are notable differences in their side effects and drug interactions. Comparing the efficacy or effectiveness of both drugs can tell the difference.
Names and Strengths –
Valium is the brand name for generic diazepam, while Xanax is the brand name for generic alprazolam. They both are brand name version medicines for anxiety.
Buy Valium Online in the strengths of 2mg, 5mg, and 10mg of diazepam.
Order Xanax Online in the strengths of 0.25mg, 0.50mg, 1mg, and 2mg alprazolam.
Valium and Xanax are two different medications in different strengths. Doctors should prescribe the more suitable one among the two, considering the inter-patient variability.
Patients can buy both medications in the form of pills and liquids. However, doctors prescribe tablet formulation of both the drugs to the adults.
A recommended dosage for an average adult is taking Valium or Xanax one to four times a day, depending upon the intensity of each patient’s condition and as directed by the health care professional.
The effects of Valium last around 4 to 6 hours; however, it has a long half-life ranging from 20 to 70 hours. It means Valium can take up to six weeks following the last dose to completely clear off from the body of the user.
The effects of Xanax last for about 5 hours, and its half-life is 11 hours. It can take several days for the Xanax to leave the body of the user altogether.
Working of Valium and Xanax –
Xanax and Valium are benzodiazepines. They both work in the brain to boost neurotransmitters called GABA receptors.
GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) is the receptor that is responsible for reducing activities in parts of the brain that control emotions, logic thoughts, memory, and some functions such as breathing.
Xanax and Valium boost the effects of GABA, thus making the muscle relax, reducing anxiety by increasing calmness, and causes drowsiness or lethargy.
Key Facts –
|Helpful in treating severe anxiety and panic disorder, short term symptoms of anxiety, and depression due to anxiety.||Useful for the treatment of less severe anxiety disorder, drug and alcohol withdrawal, seizures, and muscle spasm.|
|Onset of action is within 15 to 30 minutes of intake, for immediate-release forms.||Rapid onset of action within 15 minutes of intake.|
|Causes dependency||Causes dependency|
|Causes withdrawal symptoms||Causes withdrawal symptoms|
Side Effects of The Medications –
Since Valium and Xanax work in the same manner, they have almost similar side effects. The akin side effects of both drugs include:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
- Sex drive changes
- Difficulty urinating
The side effects that are common only in Valium use are:
- Blurred vision
- Joint pain
- Increased salivation
The side effects that are common only in Xanax use are:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight changes
- Muscle pain
Xanax and Valium also cause some adverse effects. Similar severe side effects include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe skin rashes
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Respiratory depression
Severe side effects of Valium are:
- Shuffling walk
- Lasting tremors
- Difficulty swallowing
- Irregular heartbeats
Severe side effects of Xanax are:
- Memory problems or memory impairment
- Speech problems such as slurred speech
- Suicidal thoughts
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Behavior changes
- Mood swings
Withdrawal Symptoms –
Patients taking Valium or Xanax for a long time or at higher doses can experience withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop taking them. There can be both physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal.
Symptoms of withdrawal are majorly similar for both drugs, but Xanax can cause more symptoms, or sometimes Xanax withdrawal symptoms can be severe also.
Common signs and symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Sleeping problems or insomnia
- Increased anxiety
- Stomach cramps
- Feeling of restlessness
Xanax withdrawal causes the occurrence of multiple severe seizures and status epileptics.
Drug Interactions –
Drugs that interact with both Valium and Xanax are:
- Rifamate and Rifater
- medication for depression
- medication for seizures
- oral contraceptives
- sleeping pills
- St. John’s Wort
Drugs that show interaction with Xanax include:
- Brisdelle, Paxil, and Pexeva
- EES and Eryc
- Cardizem, Cartia XT, and Tiazac
- Gengraf, Neoral, and Sandimmune
- antifungal medication
- Cordarone, Nexterone, and Pacerone
- Onmel, and Sporanox
Drugs that show interaction with Valium include:
- Rytary, Sinemet, and Stalevo
- Medicines for Parkinson’s disease
- Medications for asthma, cold, and allergies
- Lopressor and Toprol XL
- muscle relaxants
- Probalan, and Col-Probenecid
- Hemangeol, Inderal, and Innopran
- Elixophyllin, Theo 24, and Theochron
Precautions for Valium and Xanax –
Valium and Xanax contraindicate in patients having some conditions. Doctors prescribe these pills to the people who have no apparent risk of severe adverse effects or contraindications.
Valium and Xanax contraindicated in people with:
- Lung diseases or breathing problems
- Severe liver or kidney diseases
- Sleep apnea
- Muscle weakness
- History of substance abuse or addiction
- Previous alcohol intoxication