Can you die from taking Valium?

Yes. You can die from taking Valium. Valium is a nervous system depressant. Taking too much Valium can result in overdose or death. Plus, driving or operating machines on Valium can lead to serious accidents. More on Valium dangers and treatment here.

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An overdose of Valium can result in death. Or you can have a serious accident while on Valium.

More here on the dangers of taking too much Valium, including when you can get addicted to Valium. Plus, we offer a section at the bottom for your question about taking Valium. We try to respond to all legitimate Valium questions with a personal and prompt response.

What’s in Valium?

Valium contains diazepam, a benzodiazepine which is a central nervous system depressant. The diazepam contained in Valium can create a state of intoxication similar to alcohol.

Valium effects on the central nervous system

Valium – how long does it last in your system?  Although Valium effects peak 3-4 hours after dosing, they can last up to 9-10 hours.  And Valium can stay in your system for days.  At low doses, diazepam is a moderate tranquilizer, causing sleepiness, drowsiness, confusion, and some loss of ante-retrograde memory. Valium can also make you feel high. Diazepam can produce a state of intoxication similar to that of alcohol, including slurred speech, disorientation, and drunken behavior. And at high doses, excitement, dis-inhibition, severe sedation, and effects on respiration occur, particularly if respiration is impaired by other drugs or by disease.

Although the elderly are more likely to develop significant adverse central nervous system effects from the use of diazepam, anyone can experience adverse effects from Valium. Possible side effects on the central nervous system as a result of taking Valium may include:

  • blurred or double vision
  • depression
  • diminished reflexes
  • dry mouth
  • excessive perspiration
  • headache
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • loss of full control of bodily movements (ataxia)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • tremor
  • urinary retention
  • vertigo

Signs of Valium Overdose

The leading cause of death while taking Valium is overdose, because valium suppresses the respiratory system, resulting in coma and possible death. During overdose, paradoxical reactions of anxiety, insomnia, stimulation, hallucination, and acute hyperexcited state may occur. Shallow breathing, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and death are also possible. But the hallmark of this overdose is falling into a deep sleep or “coma” while still being able to breathe adequately. Symptoms of Valium overdose may include:

  • bluish-colored lips and fingernails
  • blurred vision
  • breathing – labored
  • confusion
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • drowsiness
  • excitability
  • hiccups
  • rapid side-to-side movement of the eyes (nystagmus)
  • rash
  • stomach upset
  • stupor (lack of alertness)
  • tiredness
  • tremor
  • uncoordinated movement
  • weakness

Other dangers of taking Valium

Another reported cause of death from Valium use included vehicle and machinery accidents. Sensory impairment and reduced reaction times occur when you take Valium, making driving hazardous and often deadly. And some cases of death have been reported as the result of driving heavy equipment or automobiles while on Valium.

How to treat Valium Overdose

If you are in need of medical help after Valium overdose, immediately get to an emergency medical facility. Call 911 or the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) to talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions on emergecy care for Valium overdose. Health care providers will then measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Tests, such as an EKG, may be done to check heart function. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. Actions taken for valium overdose may include:

  1. activated charcoal
  2. breathing support (artificial respiration)
  3. fluids through a vein (by IV)
  4. laxative
  5. medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the overdose
  6. tube through the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)

Valium addiction and treatment

Diazepam is capable of causing mild physical and psychological dependence and is regarded as having a significant abuse potential.  This is because it is possible to get a Valium high feeling from the drug.  Plus, the long half-life of diazepam may cause accumulation to occur with repeated use, and IV use of the drug can increase tolerance. At this point, overdose can easily occur with serious side effects, including death.

If you or someone you know is taking more Valium than prescribed, for an extended period, or smoking/snorting/injecting Valium … they may develop a tolerance and experience withdrawal on discontinued use. Abstinence or abrupt withdrawal is not recommended. Instead, doctors suggest that you withdraw from Valium under medical supervision. Learn more about Tranquilizer Addiction and Treatment Program considerations, what you can do to address addiction, and what are your long-term rehab and recovery options. Help is available TODAY!

Fatal Valium questions

Do you still have questions about the risk of fatality on Valium? Please leave us your questions here. We will be happy to try to respond to you quickly, and with a personal reply. Remember: You are not alone!

Reference Sources: PubMed: Increased prescribing of Valium, Librium, and other drugs
National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration: Drug and Human Performance Facts on Diazepam
MedLine Plus: Diazepam Overdose
PubMed Health: Diazepam Overdose
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Hello, my hands shake too much when am in public and I am very scared of addressing a crowd. It has reached a point that I can’t really control in. Can this drug work on my case?

  2. I recently got a container of 50 x5 mg Valium to do a home detox from alcohol from my doctor….i also take tramadol 50mg for pain.. In a space of 24 hrs I’d eaten the 50 Valium 20 tramadol and nearly half a carton of beer.. I obviously have a high tolerance for drugs… A nurse questioned was I brought into emergency… I had a CT scan done in this time and had no memory of driving there or an addict of everything, I too suffer from ptsd due to childhood abuse and am isolated, the times I’ve tried to talk about stuff, the people treated me like I was the pedophile and didn’t want to listen… No wonder suicide, drugs and alcohol becomes ones teddy bear…. There are kind people and people who understand, we just have to look hard…

  3. I take 5mg of valium on a daily basis and I was already depressed among other mental conditions I was off of it for over a year and found out that my body is physically addicted to it I get massive hard knots in my chest without it I’m just wondering how much is to much? I don’t want to overdose although I do think about it very often I am on meds for depression and ptsd from being beat on for years and made to feel like nothing is good enough I just don’t want to take to many but sometimes it’s not enough on a side note I used to be on 20 mg a day please help me not to overdose when things get really rough

    1. Hi Krista. Take your medication only as prescribed by a doctor. Also, have you consider seeing a therapist about your depression and PTSD?

  4. Sometimes I take 5mg of valium to help me sleep. How ever my heart rate stays in forties up to 50 while I sleep. Will the valium cause the rate to drop too low. I take a heart med. to regulate heart rate because of afib.

  5. I have a friend who drinks beer approx 8 cans vb and took 60mg of valium 24 hours ago due to depression. Is there anything I need to be worried about. I believe this is a one of situation but he drinks everyday and is normally on 10mg daily .

  6. My friend took 10 5 mg of valium and 60 mg of kolonapin 3 days ago. She is suffering from short term memory loss. how long does this last and will her memory come back eventually?

  7. I have not long been put on valium 10mg tablets to take as needed. I am have been very careful with my doseage as I know that it can be addictive and only take it when absolutely necessary. But in some situation eg leaving the house I occasionally feel I need more. I have bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. It is helping especially with leaving the house and being in new situations but i want to make sure if I do up the dose that I’m not going to experience any unwanted side effects with the medications I already take. These are…
    I would really appreciate any info you may have.

    1. Hi Lara. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk or with help on what to do next.

  8. ive been addicted to valium for 27 years (yes) u read correct I still have to take 10 mg just to have it in my system it makes me depressed, but if I didnt take it I could fit, convulse, fevers every side effect known, do not please ever touch this, I do not know who created these but they should be shot, ok they may help at first if ur coming off opiates , now finally drs are not giving them out I get mine off a phycologist only because I can die if I dont take it I get no high, or euphoria etc ive actually reduced from 25mg to 10 over the years I barely go out, I got a people phobia,im 44 still luckily look and dress well on a good day and only if I really need to like ,dentist,dr ,any appt that I must go to even then I willtry to cancel to stay in , im on internet in bed and watch far too much tv im also broke cant work. so I hope u are taking this in as long term abuse will do things like ive told u and more . Jay

  9. Hi Eli,
    You should be alright, but if you have any doubts contact a doctor,
    I take 2mg tablets every few hours when req

  10. I feel like I am being paranoid but I have taken two 2mg Diazapam tablets 7 hours ago and then another 2mg tablet just now. I am moderately low weight 95lbs and have an irrational fear of overdosing on things in general. Thanks

  11. I no someone who has been taken a lot of these tablets around 10 over a two day period, they have been mixing the drug with cocaine and alcohol and cannabis, they are very depressed not drowsy, not sure of where they are at times or what day of the week it is. There vision is blurred and they are extremely depressed, I have told them to go to hospital I have tried to call 911 but they get very aggressive abusive and try and asult me I’m not sure how to help them or what to do. How dangerous is it them taking that many and mixing it with so many different types of things?

  12. Well I guess I tried to too meself but haven’t tried hard rnough.So I know what an overdose is .Iv had shallow breathing once and sick in the belly runs .S good curre for mild overdose is dont panic make a strong coffee and if yo have any Omprzole around (ulcer med)that kinda neutralises it to .Works every time

  13. I was hurt in a whiplash car accident. I was prescribed Xanax,,oxazepam, clonazepam at high doses. The effectiveness was wearing off so using a conversion chart they were convereted to diazepam. the first month it was 600. that was a couple of years ago and have been titrating at 5% per month. I am now at 185 per month. I have looked all over the internet to see if anybody in the us or Canada has o’d on these I could not find 1. the danger is when they are mixed with booze or other drugs otherwise I believe them to be very safe. ask a doctor how many you need to od. I asked several in Canada and also asked pharmasists could not get I could not get 1 decisive answer from any of them

  14. i just recently within 2wks ago attempted suicide by consuming 4 glasses of chardoney 12.5% alc and 100 5 mg of valium. all of the above treatments were performed. respirator the works. i then went to a psych ward for a few days. i am ok and take accountability

    Are there any short or long term damaging side effects my body will suffer? I was reached in time. my stomach was pumped. apparently i vomitted quite a bit while unconscious. i guess my own body saved myself by this. i am good today. lucid. but experiencing memory issues and i am going back to work in a vault with money and wanted to know in about 10 days i go back. i used to take valium 40mg daily for 2yrs for muscle relaxant for lymes disease. i weaned myself of it about 3 months ago so i went from a long term medical usage to not using it at all and replaced it by TRUE CBD HEMP OIL DROPS.


  15. Hi there,
    I’m going over my mother’s autopsy report. Her exact cause of death wasn’t clear. She was about 5’3″ and weighed maybe 100 pounds. She was 22 (she passed in 1975). Her toxicology was:
    Blood Diazepam– 0.09 mg%
    Gastric content Diazepam– 3 mg%
    Liver Diazepam– 0.2 mg%

    Does this sound like an overdose to you? I’d really appreciate your expertise.

    Thank you so much.


    1. Hi Tracey. I’m really sorry for your loss. I’d suggest that you speak with a toxicologist or a coroner or another medical professional about your concerns. We’re not able to provide you with a qualified response. I wish you peace in this time of loss.

    2. Hi Tracey. I’m really sorry for your lose. I’d suggest that you speak with a toxicologist or a coroner or another medical professional about your concerns. May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.

  16. Hi there, tuesday night I smoked a lot of cannabis and also remember taking 4 tablets of diazepam 10mg. I woke up Thursday morning and still thought it’s Wednesday and realised instead of4 there were 15 diazepam 10mg missing. Could I have taken all of those while I was “sleeping”. Cause as I said I don’t remember anything from Wednesday. Is that normal or should I seek medical advise.? I never had a blackout like that and feel very unsure about everything. Please help

  17. I love Valium and feel like its the best way to end it all, how much vallium would it take to cease the pain of existing (hypothetically this person is 5ft 7 about 10stone) please reply, hypothetically would hate to become retarded rather than dying, hypothetically)

    1. Hi, Jayman. We’re here to help you, not to give a fatal dosage, which is different for each person. Please, reconsider what you are planning to do…think about your family and friends. You are not alone!

  18. Hi CP. I’d suggest that you speak with a toxicologist or a coroner or another medical professional about your concerns. We’re not able to provide you with a qualified response. I wish you peace in this time of loss.

  19. Hi Lydia! yes the doctor was aware ofcthe severe breathing problems that cause the patient being restless. after the valium effected. the patient never had waking up moment instead became delirium and the breathing was never improved until the ventilator has been required. he died less than 24 hours.
    is there anything wrong with the prescription of valium? does it cause his death? thanks to clarify

  20. Hi. was it alright to prescribed valium to an older patient with pneumonia, having severe difficulty in breathing and was restless?

    1. Hello, CP. Is the doctor aware of these patient’s health conditions (especially breathing problems)? If not, then be sure to inform him/her before using Valium. Usually, it is not prescribed to patients who have breathing problems.

    1. Hey Jane Doe. Our mission is to help you as much as we can, not to encourage you in any way to overdose. Please, think about what are you planning to do. There’s always a solution, but you must keep trying. And, if you have any question about addiction treatment, call the number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers. Believe me everything will be fine!

  21. Hello, my friend has been battling with a heroine addiction and he said he does so much, that the methadone clinic will not help because it’s not enough to quell his withdrawl symptoms and he’s on to much to go to a clinic. He can’t handle withdrawl symptoms, his mind tells him to kill himself when ever he gets really sick from not having it. So he’s been talking about killing himself using 100mg of Valium and drinking with it. I don’t know if that would even work bc he already Is prescribed Valium so he has a tolerance. He’s expressed to me how he doesnt want to hang himself or do anything that will make his last minutes hurt as much as the pain He already deals with on a daily basis. I’ve tried to talk him into going to the clinic just to try, but I did call them and they start you out in such a low dose, I’m afraid it won’t work for him and he’ll choose to leave this world.

    1. Hello J Dr. I am really sorry for your friend. You are being very supportive, and everyone should have someone like you by their side. Your friend should probably consider therapy from a licensed professional. Sometimes, a group therapy can be really helpful, so your friend will know that s/he is not alone, and that others are experiencing similar things.

  22. my brother in depression, two times he tried for self dieing with valium tab, first time he ate 100mg, second time he ate 300mg, both times we save him with the doctor help. but now he says i don,t want lo live and times i eating 1000mg . can u tell us side effect and after 1000mg eating can he safe or it’s dangerous for his life.

  23. Hi there, on monday night i felt so lost and wanted to die ( I just done physic test with doctor last week which said im fine, i also have a physiologist), I took a big gulp of scotch straight and then a whole bottle of DIAZEPAM ELIXIR 10MG/10ML, 100ML Diazepam (Bayer) i sent my goodbye txt and all i had to do was drink the rest of the alcohol i had and i had a knife, but my husband found me and took everything i had left away. I do love life i was just so lost and stress is so high, but im working on my headspace and got some vitamins for stress. My question here is the day is now Friday. I cant remember much on the tuesday and didn’t eat much, Wednesday night i fell down dizzy for about 30seconds then had to run to toilet and started vomiting, and since then when i eat or drink anything im vomiting, im also really sleepy so not taking my kids to school today (Friday). Was shaking last night and not myself, i think i feel my head space is getting better and i swear its the vallium thats still in my system. Theres no way im going to hospital this is my stupid fault and there are so many other people everyday who want and really need help, i just want to know if you can tell me how long this could last and if i can do anything else to help my body get back to its best as i have so many responsibilities. Any advise is very much appreciated, but please be gentle as i believe i am trying my best, i wasn’t meant to be alive now but i am so now i believe ive been given a second chance with thanks to my adoring husband. I feel so tired and my mood swings are up and down.
    Kindest, kindest regards

  24. Hi! On September 28th 2015. I wanted to die I was drunk and very sad and desperate because my boyfriend broke up with me that night. And I take 54 tablets of Diazepam 10mg. I’m a Pharmacy Technician and of course I knew about Valium, but I didn’t care I was so hurt that I couldn’t think right. Someone took me to the Close Emergency Medical Center. Now I’m taking Effexor 225mg QAM and trazodone 50mg QHS. I have being off from work because I wanted to take some time off. I would like to know in which ways it will affect me? And if is going to affect my memory.

  25. My friend has been prescribed daily valium for general anxiety disorder for almost 25 years. He doesn’t seem to abuse the dose but he occasionally drinks to excess. This gives him more anxiety and memory blackouts but most recently he was drunk and fell asleep on the couch, but after a few min he stopped breathing entirely. I had to shake him vigorously at which point he took a gasp of air and started breathing again. Was this an effect of mixing valium and alcohol and if so how can I go about getting him help or am I overreacting?

  26. My husband takes valium for a long time now. He is always in a bad mood and blames everything on everyone else. He does not think he has a problem but I am scared. please send me information.

  27. Can you tell me if 8-10 Valium tablets can result in someone dying.a friends daughter was found in the bath ,the pathology results indicates that approx 10 tablets were found in the tests.also would the body relax as she was in the bath for about 8hours still sitting up

  28. Hi I’m 34 with three kids running two business. In the last month I find I’m getting panic attacks and anxiety aswell as a sense of failure towards my family. I my attitude and my actions is weighing on my family. I want to take Valium but I’m afraid it will be addictive.

    1. Hello Jo. There are much better and natural ways to be more relaxed and relieve anxiety. Find time for yourself (I understand that can be difficult with 3 children, business, etc.) but you have to take care of yourself and be healthy to be able to provide care for your loved ones. Try doing yoga and meditation, taking relaxing warm baths or walks in nature, relax massages, drink chamomile tea, listen to calming music, do whatever makes you stop and take a pause. Valium dependence is formed shortly after you start taking it, so I suggest you take this option as your last resort.

    1. Hi Monica. It’s different for different people. I recommend you should seek doctor’s help for this patient.

  29. I’m a paraplegic who suffers from INTENSE neuropathic pains in my legs (especially at night). I take up to 30mg of Valium prior to going to bed just to get a few good hours of rest before my legs begin waking me. Lately it seems the drug doesn’t help me fall asleep at all. Have I built a tolerance that warrants a change? Ambien and like drugs are not an option because I refuse to have what I call “fake sleep.” I’m at a loss because I rarely get an entire night of real sleep. I do take other drugs such as gabapentin, but it only puts a dent in the stinging, burning, electrocution feelings I get in these useless legs! I’m truly lost with all this, and function at a much lesser level due to sleep deprivation.

    1. Hi Shawn. You have built up tolerance to Valium, which is why it can no longer produce the same effects as it used to in the beginning. The only way to lower tolerance is to lower the dosages of Valium you take. Ad the dose drops, your tolerance levels will drop. The point is that when you start taking doses again, you will be getting the wanted effects. I suggest you talk this over with your doctor.

  30. I usually take 2.5-5 mg of Valium Is it ok to take 10mg I forgot I already took my pill and I don’t want to not wake up in the morning .

  31. hi i am doing an essay on valium and would like to know on average how many people die every year from an overdose of valium in Australia. i can’t seem to find an answer anywhere. i hope you can help me. thanks

    1. Hi Lucy. I searched online, but nothing comes up for Australia. Studies like these are mainly USA-targeted, maybe you can try contacting some governmental organizations in Australia that may have these statistics. Good luck with you essay and so sorry I couldn’t help.

  32. Hello Anthony. Please seek professional medical help. You clearly have a hard time coping and may benefit form a treatment program. Your first point of contact can be your doctor, and he/she can either find a way to treat your condition or refer you to someone who can help. Best of luck and don’t give up!

  33. i Have stopped 5mg valium at night But now I need alcohol first thing in the morning. I think I have become alcoholic because i want to drink all day. I think about it much if the time I take Valdoxon but I guess the alcohol contradicts the anti depressant.

  34. Hello Perle. I’d suggest that you get in touch with the Nevada State Attorney General’s office and learn about requesting an investigation. However, be sure to measure your grief and perhaps consider receiving grief counseling for yourself, as well. Blame and anger are parts of the process of grieving. Nonetheless, if negligence was present, you’ll need the help of a patient advocate or even an attorney to look into the issue. I wish you all the best.

  35. My sister went to the er in Las Vegas where they prescribed her Valium from which she took too many and died at 30 of heart failure… Probably from non breathing. Can the physician be sued for not doing a proper mental evaluation? It really upsets me that you can run into a hospital and leave with the weapon to kill yourself. I think it’s negligence.

  36. Hello Steve. Please check in with a medical professional for an answer to your question. Are you seeing a doctor?

  37. Hello Aubrey. You may need to schedule an immediate drug abuse intervention with your son. Have you consulted with a licensed psychologist yet?

  38. my son takes at least 30 or more valium at a time every couple wks im so worried about him.he also takes methadone every day and smokes cannibis,its street vallium he takes.i fear hes going to be found dead.please help……

  39. I have been prescribed Valium 5mg for stress and anxiety. I have panic attacks. I am a wife and mother. My children love me and my Hunan loves me. I don’t understand why they love me because I am so sad everyday, I go days without showering. I have been unemployed and stopped looking. After my babies get on the bus I go lay down in the bed or sit in a chair and just sit there until the bus comes. I only get up to go pee only if my bladder hurts. My kids and husband deserve someone better.

  40. Hello Karen. I’d suggest that you speak with a pharmacist about your concerns. Report the symptoms, get information, and then address your friend.

  41. My good friend has panic attacks so she was given Valium 10MG. tid or qid if needed. She is short of breath, slurring words and agitated. When she gets upset, she’l say she needs another pill. I warned her that was too much but she says her Dr. prescribed it so it’s OK. worried she has been given the wrong information on this drug. She gets 90 10mg per month.

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