Valium vs. Valerian

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Difference between Valium and Valerian

The quest for a good night’s sleep can be an evasive one for many people, and a number of remedies have been introduced as a way to provide relief. Valium is of course known the world over for its value as an anti-insomnia medication, but valerian has recently achieved renown for the same purpose as well. Let's see what the relative strengths and weaknesses of each are.

Valium
Valerian

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Valium (medical name: Diazepam) is a benzodiazepine manufactured by Hoffmann-La Roche.

Valerian is a perennial flowering plant characterized by sweet smelling pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is native to Europe and some parts of Asia, and was introduced to North America fairly recently.

Medical Use

Valium is often prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, epileptic seizures, muscle spasms, RLS or restless legs syndrome, and alcohol withdrawal. Valium is also often used to reduce tension and anxiety before certain surgical procedures. Valium also has anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, and skeleton muscle relaxant qualities.

Valerian was originally used as a perfume, although it is now commonly used as a remedy for insomnia and various other sleep related disorders where benzodiazepine is commonly prescribed. Valerian has also been used to treat hysteria, stress, colic and cramps. Because of its qualities, valerian has also been used as a muscle relaxant, and a treatment remedy for restlessness, anxiety, gastrointestinal pain, and IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.

Risks

Just like other benzodiazepine drugs, Valium users are at risk for chemical tolerance, physical dependence, addiction and even benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. This condition has symptoms similar to barbiturate or alcohol withdrawal. The longer the patient has been taking Valium and the higher the dose he is accustomed to, the more severe the symptoms of withdrawal will be. These symptoms can range from insomnia and anxiety to more severe symptoms such as seizures and psychotic episodes.

Valerian appears to be relatively safe, and some of the rarely reported side effects include stomachaches, apathy, impaired mental function and slight depression. Valerian may also cause dizziness or drowsiness due to its tranquilizing properties, and allergies that may show up as skin rashes or hives in certain predisposed people. Valerian is also not recommended for use by people who are already taking central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and opiates.

Similarities and Differences

Valium

  • Medical name Diazepam
  • A benzodiazepine manufactured by Hoffmann-La Roche
  • Prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, epileptic seizures, muscle spasms, RLS, and alcohol withdrawal
  • Used to reduce tension and anxiety before certain procedures
  • Has anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, and skeleton muscle relaxant qualities

Valerian

  • A perennial flowering plant characterized by sweet smelling pink or white flowers
  • Native to Europe and some parts of Asia
  • Originally used as a perfume
  • Now commonly used as a remedy for insomnia and various other sleep related disorders
  • Often used as an alternative to benzodiazepine
  • Side effects include stomachaches, apathy, impaired mental function and slight depression

 
 

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