Valium, a trade name for diazepam, is in the benzodiazepine group of drugs (as is Librium) and is the best known and most widely prescribed minor tranquilizer. Introduced in 1963, it is used effectively for the relief of tension and anxiety and may be useful in the treatment of the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. Valium is often used, with other measures, in the treatment of lower back pain, because it relieves skeletal-muscle spasms.
Excessive doses of Valium or doses in combination with alcohol or other nervous-system depressants may cause excessive sedation or decreased dexterity. Valium and other tranquilizers are frequently abused drugs, possibly habit-forming (see drug abuse).