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Morgan Lepley Morgan Mayo BCMB 230 Toxins and Drugs Valium Drugs have become increasingly prevalent

in society in the last 50-60 years. There is a wide range of users; however, there uses for the drugs are very different. Looking more closely at Valium (diazepam), a relaxant, users have taken Valium to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures (including epileptics, and muscle spasms), restless leg syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal, and Menieres disease. Sometimes Valium can be used before certain producers to help the patient relax to induce amnesia. There are also a large number of people who use Valium for recreation use. The scientific name for Valium (common name) is diazepam. The systematic name for the compound is 7-chloro-1,3-dihydro-1-methyl-5-phenyl-1,4benzodiazepin-2(3H)-one and the chemical formula is C16H13ClN2O. Diazepam has anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties. It affects the body by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA by binding to the benzodiazepine on the GABA receptors. This action results in central nervous system depression. The enzyme in this pathway is GABA, the receptor is benzodiazepine, and the channels involved are that of Calcium. The Calcium acts as a blocker and therefore inhibits depolarization and decreases neuronal activity. This action takes place in the central nervous system. Users should be careful or with stain from taking Valium if they are taking any kind of barbiturates, narcotics, or antidepressants. Use of Valium with caffeine could reverse the effects of the drugs. Smoking and oral contraceptives are not recommended with use of Valium. Alcohol use with the drug can increase hypotension and is potentially fatal. Common side effects of the drug include: drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, weakness, dry mouth, diarrhea, nausea, changes in appetite, and impaired motor function. Seizures, shuffled walk, inability to sit still, fever, difficulty breathing, severe skin rash, yellowing of the eyes, and irregular heartbeat should not be experienced with the drug. Overdose of the drug is common with recreational use or when the drug use is continued beyond medical advice. Signs and symptoms for overdose of Diazepam include drowsiness, mental confusion, slow reflexes, and coma. When an overdose occurs, it is treated with stomach pumping and Flumazenil (the antidote). Flumazenil acts as an artificial respirator and stabilizes cardiovascular functions. If Valium has already been absorbed into the body, dialysis is used to remove the drug from the blood. If one experiences a Valium overdose and is not treated immediately, the effects could be life-threatening.

References Diazepam. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. 1 October 2010. Diazepam (Valium). Dr. FAQ. 26 December 2010. Diazepam. Wikipedia. 26 February 2011. Dr. Lu. The GABAA-Receptor-Benzodiazepine Receptor-Chloride Ion Channel Complex. UIC. Monson, Kristi; Schoenstadt, Arthur. Valium Overdose. Clinaero, Inc. 2006.