Worldwide, many people have been suffering from anxiety.
Anxiety highly affects our daily performance at home, work, and school.
Treating anxiety involves therapy with antidepressant drugs.
Benzodiazepines are a class of medications highly recommended for treating anxiety.
Two famous benzodiazepines are Xanax and Valium.
But, which is more effective for treating anxiety, Xanax or Valium?
Xanax and Valium are brand names for two different drugs, but both of them are considered minor tranquillizers.
Main differences between Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam):
Xanax is slower to take an effect (intermediate onset)it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to start working, while Valium takes effect quickly (rapid onset), the effect arises after about 15 minutes.
Xanax stays active for a shorter period, while Valium stays active for longer periods.
Xanax is approved for treating severe anxiety and panic disorder, while Valium is not approved for panic disorder but is used for less severe anxiety, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, muscle spasms, seizures, and hallucinations.
Safety is not established for using Xanax in children, while Valium is approved for use for children above 6 months.
Both drugs can cause dependency if used for more than 4 weeks without a doctor’s supervision.
Dosage of Xanax:
A dose of 0.25-0.5 mg 3-4 times daily is recommended.
This dose may be increased every 3 to 4 days.
You should not exceed 4 mg daily.
A dose of 0.5 mg 3 times daily is recommended.
This dose can be increased every 3-4 days but you should not exceed 1 mg daily.
Xanax may be taken with or without food.
Dosage of Valium:
The usual dose of Valium in adults to treat anxiety or seizures is 2-10 mg given 2-4 times daily.
This dose should be lowered in patients with abnormal kidney function or hepatic impairment because the drug is eliminated by the liver and excreted mainly by the kidney.
This dose is also monitored in the case of elderly patients.
Valium is taken with or without food.
Since Xanax and Valium belong to the same class of drugs, they show the same interactions with certain drugs such as:
Common side effects:
Dependence and withdrawal of Xanax or Valium:
You will become dependent on these drugs after few weeks of administration.
The longer the period you use the drug, the more you are exposed to the risk of dependence.
Taking Xanax or Valium regularly for long periods may cause severe withdrawal symptoms especially when these medications are stopped suddenly.
These symptoms may be physical or mental such as:
Talk to your doctor if you feel any serious symptoms; seek the doctor’s help to stop these drugs slowly and through long periods to avoid exposure to withdrawal symptoms.
Pregnancy and lactation:
Using Xanax or Valium during pregnancy is contraindicated.
They may cause fetal abnormalities after birth.
Both drugs are found to be excreted in breast milk so they should not be used by a nursing woman.
Which is more effective, Xanax or Valium?
Studies have shown that Valium is slightly more effective at managing anxiety.
When choosing the drug, take into consideration that Valium has a long half-life, so it will take a longer time to be eliminated from the body.
Only a healthcare provider could help you in choosing the most suitable drug for you according to your case, age, previous treatment, and history of addiction or sensitivity to similar drugs.
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