Compare Valium vs. Neurontin

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

Valium
(Diazepam)

Neurontin
(Gabapentin)

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.Treats tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.115466101694915Valium
Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
69%
of people say Valium (Diazepam) is worth it
52%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Neurontin (Gabapentin)
57%
12% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
39%
13% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
19%
3% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
Side effects
ValiumNeurontin

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

More about Valium side effects »
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Drowsiness 16%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 7%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Hostility 5%
  • Involuntary eye movement 4%
  • Double vision 4%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
More Neurontin side effects »
How it works
ValiumNeurontin
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.Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Type of medication
ValiumNeurontin
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Anticonvulsant
GABA analog
Prescription only
Available as
ValiumNeurontin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
ValiumNeurontin
Risk factors for serious side effects
ValiumNeurontin
  • 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 »
        • Children ages 3 to 12
          • Taking with alcohol or drugs
          • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
          Detailed Neurontin (Gabapentin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          ValiumNeurontin
          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
          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
          Alcohol
          • 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.
          • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
          Food
          No specific food-related info.
          • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
          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 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.
          • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          ValiumNeurontin
          • 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.
          • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
          • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
          • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
          Downsides and risks
          ValiumNeurontin
          • 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.
          • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
          • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          ValiumNeurontin
          • 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.
          • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
          • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
          • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
          • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
          • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
          Learn more
          More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert