Difference Between Xanax vs. Valium

Main Difference

The main difference between Xanax and Valium is that Xanax contains alprazolam as active therapeutic moiety and valium contains diazepam as an active therapeutic moiety.

Xanax vs. Valium

Xanax contains alprazolam; on the other hand, Valium contains diazepam. Xanax is short acting comparatively while Valium is long-acting comparatively. Xanax has a duration of action of 1-2 hrs; on the other hand, Valium has a duration of action of 1-3 days. Xanax onset of action is 15-30 minutes while valium has the onset of action of 15 minutes. Xanax achieves peak plasma concentration in 1-2 hrs whereas Valium achieves peak plasma concentration in 1-1.5 hrs. Xanax has a half-life of 11.2 hrs while Valium has a half-life of 30-56 hrs. Xanax is available in strength of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg tablets while Valium is available in strength of 2 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg tablets. Xanax treats anxiety and panic disorders, while Valium treats anxiety, tremors, and muscle spasm. Xanax has a bioavailability of round about 90-100 % after oral administration while Valium has a bioavailability of round about 100% after oral administration. Xanax is not a good choice to treat the anxiety if anxiety is accompanied by depression, while Valium is a good choice to treat the anxiety if anxiety is accompanied by depression. Xanax is less likely to cause the drowsiness while Valium is more likely to cause the drowsiness.

Comparison Chart

XanaxValium
Xanax is the famous brand of drug Alprazolam which belongs to the class of benzodiazepines.Valium is the famous brand of drug Diazepam which belongs to the class of benzodiazepines.
Receptors at Which Drug Act
GABA receptorsGABA receptors
Mechanism of Action
Enhance the effects of GABA in the brainEnhance the effects of GABA in the brain
Onset of Action
15-30minutesFast onset of action i-e 15 minutes
Duration of Action
11-20 hrs1-3 days
Strength
0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg tablets2 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg tablets
Excipients
Lactose, Maize starch, Microcrystalline cellulose, Colloidal anhydrous silica, Docusate sodium with sodium benzoate, Magnesium stearateCorn starch, Pregelatinized starch, Anhydrous Lactose, and Calcium stearate
Therapeutic Uses
Anxiety disorders, Panic attacksAnxiety, Agitation, Tremors, Delirium, Seizures, Muscle spasm

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the famous brand of drug Alprazolam, which is a triazolobenzodiazepines. Xanax belongs to short-acting benzodiazepines. Alprazolam exists in the form of white crystalline powder form and does not possess good water solubility at physiological PH. Xanax has good solubility in methanol and ethanol. Xanax modulates the GABA type A receptors. When Xanax binds to GABA receptors, it acts to inhibit the neurons in the brain. The activity of Xanax is dose dependent in CNS. Xanax, when taken orally, it is absorbed to a good extent. 80% of the absorbed Xanax is bound to serum proteins. The peak plasma concentration of Xanax is reached after one to two hrs of dose. Xanax reduces anxiety due to its depressant effects on the synaptic transmission. Xanax mitigates the anxiety due to depression. Xanax is recommended for the treatment of the panic disorders of the body. Xanax produces a calming effect due to its pharmacological action on nerves and brain. Xanax finds its use in the cure of nausea in chemotherapy. Xanax shows several adverse effects, including the issues in concentration leading to anterograde amnesia, seizures, hallucinations, drowsiness, slurred speech, urinary retention, and vertigo. Xanax is not prescribed when there is liver or kidney problem, alcohol intoxication, pregnancy, tobacco smoking, close angle or wide angle glaucoma and any type of benzodiazepines allergies.

What is Valium?

Valium is the famous brand of drug Diazepam which belongs to benzodiazepines. Valium finds its primary use as the treatment of anxiety, but it is also used to treat several different disorders like tremors, agitation, seizures, delirium, and muscle spasm. Valium is also prescribed for the calming effect that it produces. Valium is beneficial for patients who find difficulty in sleeping and for the patients of restless leg syndrome. Valium belongs to long-acting benzodiazepines having anticonvulsant properties. Valium acts by enhancing the GABA effects in the brain. Valium is rapidly absorbed after oral administration. Valium is lipid soluble to a great extent and distributes to the body well after its administration. Valium causes a blood-brain barrier. Valium is redistributed into muscle and adipose tissue just after the absorption. If Valium is taken daily, then it is accumulated in high concentration in the body. The onset of action of Valium is 15 minutes, and the duration of action of Valium is 1-3 days. Valium has a half-life of 30-56 hrs. Valium undergoes oxidative metabolism and glucuronidation by the P450 enzyme system. Most of Valium is metabolized, and only a little drug is excreted unchanged. Valium shows several side effects like confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, hypotension, urinary retention, dry mouth, and anterograde amnesia. Valium is contraindicated in myasthenia gravis.

Key Differences

  1. Xanax is a brand of alprazolam, while Valium is a brand of diazepam.
  2. Xanax shows therapeutic effect for 1-2 hr while Valium shows therapeutic effect for 1-3 days.
  3. Xanax starts to show pharmacological action after 15-30 minutes of dose, whereas Valium starts to show pharmacological action after 15 minutes of dose.
  4. Xanax takes 11.2 hrs to become half in concentration after dose while Valium takes 30-56 hrs to become half in concentration after the dose.
  5. Xanax strength range is 0.25-2 mg while Valium strength range is 2-10mg.
  6. Xanax is used for the patients of anxiety and panic disorders, while Valium is used for the patients of anxiety, tremors, and muscle spasm.
  7. Xanax is not used to treat anxiety, which accompanies depression. On the other hand, Valium is not used to treat anxiety, which accompanies depression.
  8. Xanax is associated with severe withdrawal symptoms, whereas Valium is associated with less severe withdrawal symptoms.

Conclusion

The conclusion of the above discussion is that both Xanax and Valium are benzodiazepines, and their primary use is the treatment of anxiety.

Author: