Doctors prescribe drugs every day for multiple reasons. Some people are just coming out of surgery or have chronic pain and are prescribed painkillers so they can function and be comfortable in their daily lives.
Also, many of us feel symptoms of anxiety from time to time. For some people, though, anxiety and all of its uncomfortable symptoms are a daily occurrence. Ongoing anxiety can affect your ability to function at home, school, and work. Treating anxiety often involves talk therapy and antidepressant medications. Benzodiazepines are another class of medications used to help curb anxiety. Some of the most prescribed medications for anxiety are Valium and Xanax.
There are some notable differences between Valium and Xanax, but there are also some similarities. Valium and Xanax are both benzodiazepines that can be used to treat anxiety and/or panic attacks. Both are equally effective for this use. When taken by mouth and as prescribed, both are quick to take effect usually within half an hour, although Xanax may have a faster onset.
What Are Valium and Xanax?
Valium and Xanax are both brand-name versions of two different generic drugs. Valium is a brand name for the drug diazepam and Xanax is a brand name for the drug alprazolam. Both of these drugs are minor sedatives.
Valium and Xanax work by helping to boost the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that transmits signals throughout your body. If your body doesn’t have enough GABA, you may feel anxiety.
Since both Xanax and Valium are in the same drug class, they have many of the same interactions with other drugs and substances. Medications that affect your central nervous system can be dangerous when combined with benzodiazepines. That’s because they can affect your respiratory system.
Several groups of drugs that negatively interact with each other include:
- Other benzodiazepines or sedatives, such as sleeping pills and drugs for anxiety
- Pain drugs, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, codeine, and tramadol
- Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics
- Tranquilizers and muscle relaxants
Xanax and Valium both have similar side effects:
- Impaired memory
- Impaired motor coordination or balance
So as you can see there are many differences and similarities but is one stronger than the other? Is Valium stronger than Xanax? Many people might consider Valium stronger because it acts quickly and stays in your system longer but after comparing the similarities and differences, no, one is not stronger than the other. But one drug may affect one person differently than another. It all depends on many factors such as weight, sex, health, and history of drug use. Xanax can also be considered stronger because it’s more potent at lower milligram levels.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms
Just like there are side effects when taking these drugs, there are also side effects when you stop taking them. Those who have taken Valium or Xanax regularly for a long time may experience withdrawal if they stop taking it. These symptoms may be physical and/or mental.
Withdrawal symptoms are similar for both, but Xanax may cause more symptoms than Valium.
Some examples of these withdrawal symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps
- Increased feeling of anxiety
- Problems sleeping
The health threat posed by withdrawal is one of the main reasons a benzo detox is necessary. Our team at Allure Detox performs benzo detox on a medical basis, prescribing replacement drugs on a decreasing schedule until the withdrawal symptoms dissipate. It is incredibly difficult for a long-term benzo user to stop on his or her own.
Get the Help You Need
Allure’s Medical detox allows the benzo user to continue his or her life during the process. The patient leaves our program stabilized, in good health, and ready to start their lives over again.