Valium and Xanax are widely prescribed minor tranquilizers, according to WebMD. It recommends short-term use of these medications, especially if the doctor prescribes them for sleep. Long-term use increases the chances of undesirable side effects and addiction.
Valium is the brand name for the generic drug diazepam and is a benzodiazepine, according to Drugs.com. Doctors prescribe Valium for anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal and muscles spasms. Patients with seizure disorders sometimes take Valium along with other medications to treat their seizures.
Xanax is another benzodiazepine, reports Drugs.com. Its generic name is alprazolam, and it slows the movement of chemicals in the brain responsible for anxiety. Reasons for prescribing Xanax include anxiety due to depression, anxiety disorders and panic disorders.
Both these tranquilizers are potentially habit-forming drugs, warns Drugs.com. When taking either of these drugs, the patient should avoid the use of alcohol. Both drugs are in the Food and Drug Administration’s category D for pregnancy. Pregnant women should not take them; however, women who take Valium should talk about the risks of having a seizure while pregnant if they discontinue the medication.
Side effects of both tranquilizers may include thoughts of the patient harming himself or committing suicide, reports Drugs.com. If patients experience such thoughts, they should call their doctor immediately.