Compare Valium vs. Skelaxin

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

Valium
(diazepam)

Skelaxin
(metaxalone)

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. Skelaxin (metaxalone) is used for muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain with mixed results.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.15Valium
Reviews for Valium
70%
of people (All ages) say Valium is worth it
53%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
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Have you used Skelaxin (metaxalone)?
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Side effects
ValiumSkelaxin

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

More about Valium side effects »

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

More about Skelaxin side effects »
How it works
ValiumSkelaxin
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.How Skelaxin (metaxalone) works is not exactly known. It is believed that it works on the brain to help relieve muscle pain and relax muscles.
Type of medication
ValiumSkelaxin
Prescription only
Available as
ValiumSkelaxin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
Used for
ValiumSkelaxin
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
Risk factors for serious side effects
ValiumSkelaxin
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Taking antidepressants
  • Higher than recommended doses of Skelaxin (metaxalone)
Detailed Skelaxin (metaxalone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Alcohol
ValiumSkelaxin
  • Not safe to use with 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.
No alcohol related info.
Food
ValiumSkelaxin
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food. However, Skelaxin (metaxalone) may be stronger when taken with food, especially if you are older. Be on the lookout for more pronounced drowsiness or sleepiness.
Kidneys and liver
ValiumSkelaxin
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • People who have any liver or kidney problems should not use Skelaxin (metaxalone). Skelaxin (metaxalone) is broken down by the liver, and eliminated from the body via the kidneys. If either of those are not working at their best, you could have high levels of Skelaxin (metaxalone) in your body and more side effects.Your liver could also worsen. Talk to your doctor as you may need to get routine blood test for your liver and kidneys if you already have liver/kidney problems.
Sleep
ValiumSkelaxin
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Taking Skelaxin (metaxalone) with alcohol or narcotics can worsen the drowsiness.
  • Can make you very drowsy or sleepy
Upsides and benefits
ValiumSkelaxin
  • 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 be used for muscle spasms and muscle pain if other medications have not worked.
  • Available as generic.
  • Slightly less sedation and side effects compared to other muscle relaxants.
Downsides and risks
ValiumSkelaxin
  • 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.
  • Effects don't last that long. You need to take Skelaxin (metaxalone) up to 3-4 times daily.
  • Several studies showed mixed results when Skelaxin (metaxalone) was compared with a sugar pill for treatment of muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain.
  • Can make you very drowsy or sleepy
  • Even though a generic is available, it is still fairly expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ValiumSkelaxin
  • 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 be taken with or without food. However, Skelaxin (metaxalone) may be stronger when taken with food, especially if you are older. Be on the lookout for more pronounced drowsiness or sleepiness.
  • Skelaxin (metaxalone) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Taking Skelaxin (metaxalone) with alcohol or narcotics can worsen the drowsiness.
  • Skelaxin (metaxalone) can also have a more pronounced effect on women.
Learn more
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
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More about SkelaxinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Skelaxin (metaxalone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it