What Is the Difference Between Beta Blockers and Valium?
- Beta blockers and Valium (diazepam) are used to treat anxiety.
- One key difference is that beta blockers are usually used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, and they are prescribed off-label for anxiety. Valium belongs to a different drug class called benzodiazepines that are often prescribed for anxiety.
- Taking a beta-blocker with Valium may help increase the effectiveness of the benzodiazepine.
- Beta blockers are generally prescribed for short-term event-related anxiety, such as social phobias and stage fright. They block the physical symptoms of anxiety such as rapid heart rate, tightness in the chest, or sweating. They don’t affect the psychological and emotional aspects of anxiety such as worry.
- Propranolol (Inderal) and atenolol (Tenormin) are the beta blockers most commonly prescribed for anxiety.
- Valium acts as a sedative but it can be taken during an acute episode of anxiety or a panic attack, and it can relax people to help reduce stress and worry.
- Side effects of beta blockers and Valium that are similar include diarrhea, rash, blurred or double vision, insomnia, muscle cramps/spasms, and fatigue.
- Side effects of beta blockers that are different from Valium include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, hair loss, weakness, and sexual dysfunction.
- Side effects of Valium that are different from beta blockers include drowsiness, euphoria, loss of balance, paradoxical reactions with excitability, rage, confusion, and speech problems.
- Do not suddenly stop taking beta blockers because sudden withdrawal may worsen angina (chest pain) and cause heart attacks, serious abnormal heart rhythms, or sudden death. Abrupt discontinuation of Valium after prolonged use may cause withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sweating, anxiety, fatigue, and seizures.
What Are Beta Blockers and Valium?
- Beta blockers, or beta-adrenergic blocking agents, block certain neurotransmitters (norepinephrine and epinephrine) from binding to beta-receptors on nerves, which helps dilate blood vessels, and results in a reduction of heart rate and blood pressure.
- Beta blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, pheochromocytoma, migraine headache prevention, hypertrophic subaortic stenosis, hyperthyroidism, panic disorder, anxiety, akathisia (restlessness or inability to sit still), eye pressure caused by glaucoma, and aggressive behavior.
- Beta blockers are also used to prevent future heart attacks and death after a heart attack.
- Valium (diazepam) is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety. Other benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), and flurazepam (Dalmane).
What Are the Side Effects of Beta Blockers and Valium?
Beta Blocker side effects
Beta blockers may cause:
Other important side effects include:
Central nervous system effects of beta blockers include:
Beta blockers that block β2 receptors may cause shortness of breath in asthmatics.
Other serious side effects of beta-blockers include:
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
- Raynaud's phenomenon
- Lupus erythematosus
- Serious allergic reactions
- Erythema multiform
- Steven Johnson Syndrome
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
Valium side effects
The most common side effects of diazepam are:
Other important side effects include:
- Paradoxical reactions with excitability
- Muscle spasm
- Lack of sleep
- Speech problems
- Double vision
Possible serious side effects:
Warning: Diazepam can lead to addiction (dependency), especially when higher dosages are used over prolonged periods of time. In patients addicted to diazepam or after prolonged use, abrupt discontinuation may cause symptoms of withdrawal such as:
Seizures can occur in more severe cases of withdrawal. Therefore, after extended use, diazepam should be slowly tapered under a doctor's supervision rather than abruptly stopped.
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What Drugs Interact with Beta Blockers and Valium?
Beta blocker drug interactions
- Combining propranolol (Inderal) or pindolol (Visken) with thioridazine (Mellaril) or chlorpromazine (Thorazine) may result in low blood pressure (hypotension) and abnormal heart rhythms because the drugs interfere with each other's elimination and result in increased levels of the drugs.
- Dangerous elevations in blood pressure may occur when clonidine (Catapres) is combined with a beta blocker, or when clonidine or beta blocker is discontinued after their concurrent use. Blood pressure should be closely monitored after initiation or discontinuation of clonidine or a beta blocker when they have been used together.
- Phenobarbital and similar agents may increase the breakdown and reduce blood levels of propanolol (Inderal) or metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL). This may reduce effectiveness of the beta blocker.
- Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (for example, ibuprofen) may counteract the blood pressure reducing effects of beta blockers by reducing the effects of prostaglandins, which play a role in control of blood pressure.
- Beta blockers may prolong hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and mask symptoms of hypoglycemia in diabetics who are taking insulin or other diabetic medications.
Valium drug interactions
Alcohol or medications that cause sedation may add to the sedative effects of diazepam. Patients taking benzodiazepines should avoid such combinations. The following drugs may prolong the effects of diazepam by inhibiting liver enzymes that eliminate diazepam:
- cimetidine (Tagamet)
- ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- itraconazole (Sporanox)
- omeprazole (Prilosec, Rapinex)
- clarithromycin (Biaxin)
- darunavir (Prezista)
- fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
Dosages may need to be decreased when these drugs are used with diazepam.
Beta blockers and Valium (diazepam) are used to treat anxiety. A difference is beta blockers are usually used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, and they are prescribed off-label for anxiety. Valium belongs to a different drug class called benzodiazepines that are often prescribed for anxiety. Taking a beta blocker with Valium may help increase the effectiveness of the benzodiazepine.
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High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms. Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure. The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater. If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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Top Beta-Blockers vs Valium Related Articles
AnxietyAnxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Benzodiazepines vs. Narcotics (Opioids)
Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that cause drowsiness and are used to treat insomnia, seizures, anxiety disorders, nervousness, panic disorders, muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal, status epilepticus, premenstrual syndrome, and as sedation during surgery. Narcotic (opioid) analgesics are used to treat moderate to severe pain. Both benzodiazepines and narcotics (opioids) are common drugs of abuse.
Beta Blockers (Drug Class, List of Brand and Generic Names)
Beta blockers are a class of drugs that block beta-adrenergic substances such as adrenaline (epinephrine), a key agent in the "sympathetic" portion of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system and activation of heart muscle. By blocking the action of the involuntary nervous system on the heart, beta blockers relieve stress on the heart.
Beta blockers are used for the treatment of irregular heart rhythms, chest pain, heart attack, hypertension, migraine headaches, social phobias, tremors, and glaucoma.
Common side effects of beta blockers are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and weight gain if you are taking medicine for diabetes (type 1 and type 2). There are other important side effects and serious adverse effects of this drug class that include, blurred vision, insomnia, hair loss, disorientation, CNS system effects, and serious heart problems.
Beta blockers interact with several other drugs, for example, chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clonidine (Catapres), Phenobarbital, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including aspirin, and diabetes medications, including insulin.
Examples of generic and brand names available for beta blockers in the US include acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta), metoprolol (Lopressor, Lopressor LA, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), timolol (Blocadren). Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other medical professional if you have questions about beta-blockers.
diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Acudial, Diastat Pediatric, Diazepam Intensol)Diazepam (Valium, Diastat Acudial, Diastat, Diazepam Intensol) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders; and agitation, tremors, delirium, seizures and hallucinations that result from alcohol withdrawal. Review side effects, multiple drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information prior to taking this medication.
Anxiety SlideshowLearn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of anxiety disorders.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms.
Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater.
If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.
REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)? Symptoms, TreatmentsWhat causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? What is normal blood pressure? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood pressure medications, diet, and long-term treatments.
HBP QuizTake this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and heart attacks. How are dizziness, snoring, and gout related to HBP? Find the answer and learn how medical treatments and lifestyle adjustments fight this common problem.
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Separation AnxietySeparation anxiety disorder is a common childhood anxiety disorder that has many causes. Infants, children, older kids and adults can suffer from symptoms of separation anxiety disorder. Common separation anxiety treatment methods include therapy and medications. Factors that contribute to how quickly or successfully a child moves past separation anxiety by preschool age include how well the parent and child reunite, the skills the child and adult have at coping with the separation, and how well the adult responds to the infant's separation issues. For example, children of anxious parents tend to be anxious children.
Beta Blocker Side Effects (Adverse Effects)Beta blockers (beta-adrenergic blocking agents) are a class of drugs that block norepinephrine and adrenaline from binding to beta receptors on nerves. Beta blockers inhibit (block) these two hormones, thereby reducing heart rate. There are a variety of drugs in this class, for example, atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), and metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL).