Valium Vs Xanax: who got the upper hand

valium vs xanax

Anxiety is a mental state that creates overwhelming fear in people. There are many people going through stress nowadays because of the fast-paced world and meeting deadlines. The constant stress leads people to worry more and is also a major factor causing anxiety disorder in people. There are several medicines that can help you in the treatment of anxiety but two of the most prescribed ones are Valium Vs Xanax. These medicines are very effective when it comes to the treatment of anxiety and also provide similar effects. Now the question arises that which medicine is better while treating anxiety and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using any of them.

What are Valium and Xanax?

Valium and Xanax are a prescription medicine that helps in the treatment of different mental disorders. Xanax helps to lower the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder whereas Valium helps with other issues such as seizures, alcohol withdrawals, and muscle tightness including anxiety disorder.

They both belong to a branch of drugs known as benzodiazepines which elevate the effects of certain brain chemicals known as GABA to provide effects. GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is naturally present in our brain that helps in reducing the overactivity of the nerves in the brain.

These medicines are also known by their generic name for Xanax is Alprazolam and Valium with the name Diazepam. Both of these medicines belong to the Schedule IV category Of medicine which means that these drugs can cause addiction and physical dependence in the user.

Similarities between them

There are many similarities between these medicines which is why it gets people confused between them.

  • They both belong to the same category of drugs known as benzodiazepines.
  • Xanax and Valium both change the brain’s composition to provide effects.
  • Both allow the user to feel calm and relaxed.
  • Some of the side effects of these medicines are also similar such as dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Both are potent medicine and has the potential to create addiction and physical dependence in the user. However, the chances increase when the person uses this drug extensively.
  • Valium and Xanax also solve some common issues such as anxiety disorder.
  • Both of these medications can travel to the baby in the womb and through breastmilk Therefore, you should avoid both medicines if you are pregnant or nursing an infant.

These are some of the common things that are similar between these medicines. However, the list mentioned above is not in its complete form and there are more possible similarities between the drug.

Differences between Xanax Vs Valium

Although both of these medicine sounds very similar some key differences make them apart from each other. These are two different medicine that comes from the same family of drugs.

Some of the differences are:

  • Xanax only helps in anxiety and panic disorder whereas valium helps in the treatment of different neurological issues like alcohol withdrawals, seizures, muscle spasms, and stiff person syndrome with anxiety disorder.
  • Some of the side effects of Xanax are different from Valiums such as memory problems, change in weight, and constipation.
  • There are physical differences between the drug which means that they look different than each other.
  • Valium is a faster-acting drug than Xanax and it also tends to produce effects that are longer than the other medicine.
  • The forms and dosage of the medicine are also different Xanax comes in 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, and 2 mg forms whereas Valium is available in 2mg, 5mg, and 10 mg in liquid and tablet forms.     
  • Valium is more affordable than Xanax which means that this medicine is cheaper than Xanax.

These are some of the key differences between Xanax and Valium. They are not the same medicine but are closely related to each other.

Drug interactions of Xanax Vs Valium

Drug interaction is a situation when two or more medicine combines with each other to produce adverse effects. You should inform your doctor before taking any other medicine with Xanax and Valium because it can cause severe effects on the user. 

There are several medicines that you should avoid taking with Xanax or Valium. It will help you to achieve your desired results with a lowered risk of side effects.  

Drugs that can interact with Xanax

Avoid using Xanax with these medicines

  • Alcohol 
  • Central nervous system depressants
  • Opioids 
  • Digoxin 
  • Desipramine 
  • Fluoxetine
  • Oral contraceptive pills 
  • Imipramine 
  • Desipramine 

You should not use any of these medications with Xanax because drug interaction can be very dangerous and can even cause death.

Drugs that can interact with Valium

You should not use Valium with medicines such as:

  • Antacids 
  • Antifungal medicines such as ketoconazole.
  • Opioids 
  • Alcohol
  • Phenytoin
  • Fluoxetine
  • Omeprazole 
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Centrally acting agents

There are certain medicines that you should avoid while taking Valium. Because it can create dangerous situations that can severely harm your health.

Note: The list of drug interactions mentioned above is not complete and there is another drug interaction that can be dangerous. Therefore it would be best to inform your doctor while taking any other medicine or supplement. 

People who should avoid taking Valium or Xanax

They both are potent medicine therefore you should not use Xanax or Valium if you are going through any of the medical conditions mentioned below. This medication can worsen the situation and sometimes create life-threatening scenarios.

You should avoid taking Xanax or valium if you have a medical condition such as:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Depression 
  • Breathing problems 
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung problems 
  • Liver disease 

You should avoid taking Valium or Xanax if you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant because it can adversely affect the unborn child and create withdrawal symptoms at the time of birth.

Do not engage in activities that require complete attention like driving or using heavy machinery. Because both the medicine can cause drowsiness which increases the risk of an accident.


Valium Vs Xanax is two different medicine that is usually confused as same by the people. However, it is not the case. The family of drugs they belong to might be the same or the mechanism which they work can be the same but they do things differently.

They both are very effective drugs and you should use any of the medicine according to the doctor’s advice. The differences between them are not major but it is evitable to spot the difference. Valium works for many neural disorders on the other hand Xanax only helps with anxiety and panic disorder.

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