Compare baclofen vs. Valium

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lioresal
(Baclofen)

Valium
(Diazepam)

Relaxes your muscles. Lioresal (Baclofen) is effective for long term spastic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and others.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5baclofen
Reviews for Lioresal (Baclofen)
65%
of people say Lioresal (Baclofen) is worth it
61%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
69%
+4% vs. Lioresal (Baclofen)
52%
9% vs. Lioresal (Baclofen)
16%
+6% vs. Lioresal (Baclofen)
Side effects
baclofenValium

We haven’t found good data for baclofen side effects.

FDA side effect reports for baclofen »

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »
How it works
baclofenValium
Lioresal (Baclofen) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.
Type of medication
baclofenValium
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Available as
baclofenValium
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for (click to learn more)
baclofenValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
baclofenValium
  • Stopping Lioresal (Baclofen) too quickly
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • Using other medicines that can cause seizures
  • History of seizures
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorders
  • Brain infections
Detailed Lioresal (Baclofen) risks & warnings »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Current liver problems
      Detailed Valium (Diazepam) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      baclofenValium
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
      • Not safe to use with alcohol.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you're taking it with high blood pressure medications.
      • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      • Stopping Valium (Diazepam) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain or burning. Withdrawal symptoms can last 6 weeks or longer. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      baclofenValium
      • Lioresal (Baclofen) is effective for treating muscle spasms, as well as being an effective muscle relaxant.
      • Can be used long term.
      • Relieves pain associated with muscle spasms.
      • A better option for seniors compared to other muscle relaxants since it has less side effects than the other meds.
      • Lioresal (Baclofen) is available as a generic and is a relatively inexpensive medication.
      • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
      • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
      • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
      • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
      Downsides and risks
      baclofenValium
      • If taking regularly, you shouldn't stop taking Lioresal (Baclofen) abruptly. You'll need to get off of it slowly.
      • Be careful if taking other drugs that affect your ability to stay awake, since Lioresal (Baclofen) can make you much more tired.
      • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
      • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
      • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      baclofenValium
      • Can cause dizziness and fatigue.
      • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you're taking it with high blood pressure medications.
      • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      • Can be taken as needed or 'around-the-clock'. Ask your doctor about what'll work best for you.
      • If taking regularly, you need to work with your doctor to get off the medication slowly (also called tapering) to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
      • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
      • Helpful with muscle spasms.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
      • Not safe to use with alcohol.
      Learn more
      More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert