Valium, also known as Diazepam, is a medication that is often prescribed to people to treat various anxiety disorders. After its approval by the FDA in 1963, doctors have been prescribing Valium for a number of conditions including insomnia, seizure disorders, muscle spasms, and more.
In this article, we dive into the specifics of how Valium works and how long it takes for Valium to kick in. Besides, we also discuss the topic of how long does Valium stay in the system.
How Long Does It Take For Valium to Kick In?
It depends on the method of administration – Valium can be taken by mouth, as a rectal gel, or as an injection. When administered through injection, Valium takes anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes to kick in. Rectal Valium can take from 5 to 10 minutes to work.
How Long Does It Take Oral Valium To Work?
When taken orally, Valium can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes to show effects.
How Long Does Valium Work For?
Valium effects can last approximately 4-5 hours, with some exceptions. Since it has a very short onset of action, people can feel the effects of the oral dose within 15 minutes.
While the physiological effects of Diazepam last for about 5 hours, it can stay in your system for several days. Valium’s half-life is approximately 50 hours, which means that it takes around 50 hours for half of the original dose to be out of your system.
Since Valium has a tendency to accumulate in the body, whenever someone takes Valium for an extended period of time, it can take several weeks before the drug completely leaves their system.
As Valium is processed, it is being broken down into metabolites, which can be detectable in the body for much longer periods than Diazepam itself. Some of these metabolites of Valium are nordiazepam, temazepam, and oxazepam.
Half-lives of these metabolites can be very long. For instance, nordiazepam has a half-life of around 100 hours.
How Is Valium Detected In The Body?
Valium or its metabolites can be detected in the body through blood, urine, saliva, and hair.
Valium can be detected in urine for a period of 1 to 6 weeks after administration of the dose.
In blood, Valium can be detected for a period from 6 to 48 hours. Usually, this type of test is not as common due to the shorter detection window.
A test with saliva can detect Valium in the system from 1 to 10 days after it’s been taken. Some studies suggest that saliva testing can be a good alternative to urine testing of Valium.
While this type of test has a pretty long detection window, it can pose some challenges due to the side effects that can be caused by Valium, including dry mouth and hypersalivation.
Valium can be detected in a hair follicle for up to 90 days, which means that it can be used to look for Diazepam traces long past drug use.
False Positive Testing for Valium
There are some reports claiming that Zoloft (sertraline) and Daypro (oxaprozin) can cause false-positive urine tests for benzodiazepines like Valium.
Valium Withdrawal Timeline
The duration of Valium withdrawal, as well as its symptoms and intensity, will vary individually. Here is a general timeline
1-3 days after the last dose: Sweating, irritability, anxiety, body pains, restlessness, muscle spasms.
4-7 days after the last dose: Anxiety, abdominal pain, headaches, insomnia.
14 days after the last dose: Tremors, sleep disturbances, tension, increased anxiety.
3 weeks after the last dose: Mood swings, anxiety, insomnia
4 weeks after the last dose: Remaining anxiety and insomnia, improved mood swings
Does Valium Make You Sleepy?
While Valium can make you sleepy, it is not designed to aid with sleep. Since Valium is a benzodiazepine, it also has a sedative effect and can cause dizziness and drowsiness, thus making you sleepy.
How Long After Taking Valium Can I Drive?
After taking Valium, it is advised not to drive or operate heavy machinery for 5 to 7 hours after taking the dose.
Is 10 mg of Diazepam a Lot?
The recommended dose should be discussed with your doctor. General sources say that adults should take anywhere from 2 to 10 milligrams of Valium 2 to 4 times a day. For older adults, a dose of 2 to 2.5 mg 1 to 2 times a day is sufficient.
Note: Do not start taking Valium without speaking to your family doctor first.
How Long Does Valium Take To Work For Sleep?
Valium’s sedative effects kick in in about 15 minutes after taking an oral dose. The peak concentration of Valium is reached within 1 hour after initial administration.
How Fast Does Valium Work For Anxiety?
As a medication that is designed to help with anxiety, Valium can help with anxiety symptoms within an hour. However, it can take up to two weeks to feel the full effects of this medication.
If you prefer going the drug-free way, try wearing one of the anti-anxiety rings that can help you calm your mind.
What Happens If I Overdose With Diazepam?
Never take Diazepam without speaking with your family doctor first. If an overdose occurs, call 911, you might need urgent medical care.
Symptoms of Valium overdose can include impaired coordination, confusion, slow reflexes, low blood pressure, upset stomach, and more. Read about them here.