Valium, the generic name of which is diazepam, makes a person feel sleepy, says Patient.co.uk. It also increases the time it takes for a person to react and it is likely to impair judgment.
People must avoid driving and using tools or machines while taking Valium, notes Patient.co.uk. Moreover, a person needs to avoid drinking alcohol when taking Valium as it increases the risk of side effects. Doctors prescribe diazepam to treat anxiety, insomnia, convulsions caused by fever or epilepsy and muscle spasms. Physicians also prescribe this medication before surgery and alongside other treatments in alcohol withdrawal. Patients normally take this medicine for two to four weeks to ease symptoms of anxiety and difficulty in sleeping. It affects the way neurotransmitters pass messages to particular brain cells and has a calming effect on various functions of the brain. Some side effects of taking Valium include feelings of aggressiveness, forgetfulness, feelings of confusion, unsteadiness and feeling sleepy, weak or light-headed.
Serious side effects of diazepam include hallucinations, unusual thoughts and risk-taking behavior, depressed mood, seizures, shallow breathing and hyperactivity, according to the eMedicineHealth. When any of these occurs, a person must stop taking the medication and contact a doctor as soon as possible. It is important not to take more of the prescribed medication as an overdose can be fatal.