Compare Valium vs. Flexeril

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

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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.Relaxes your muscles. Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) is widely used to treat muscle spasms and is available as a generic, but it shouldn't be used long-term.
How it works
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.Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
of people say Valium (Diazepam) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine)
3% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
15% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
+2% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
Side effects

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

More about Valium side effects »
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Fatigue 1%
More Flexeril side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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 »
      • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting
      • Taking other medications for your mood
      • Alcohol or drug use
      • Age over 65
      • Taking tramadol
      Detailed Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      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
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

      Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

      See the FDA package insert
      • 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.
      • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
      • Taking Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) may make you feel dizzy or sleepy for the first few days, especially if you drink a lot of alcohol or take recreational drugs. Your body should adjust to this, however, avoid driving or other activities requiring concentration until you know how your body responds to the medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if these symptoms bother you.
      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.
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      • 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.
      No specific sleep-related info.
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      • 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.
      • Can relieve pain associated with muscle spasms.
      • Available as a generic medication.
      • Can be used by pregnant women.
      Downsides and risks
      • 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.
      • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
      • Not meant for long-term therapy.
      • Not recommended in elderly patients, people with glaucoma, or in people with recent heart issues (like rhythm problems, heart failure, or heart attack).
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      • 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.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
      • Take the medication at the same time each day.
      • Not to be used for long-term treatment.
      • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
      Learn more
      More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about FlexerilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert