Compare Valium vs. Unisom

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

Valium
(diazepam)

Unisom Sleeptabs
(doxylamine)

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 allergy symptoms and helps you sleep. Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) can help you get a good night's sleep, but you can have a hard time waking up if you don't give yourself enough time to sleep.
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)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Unisom
58%
+12% better vs. Valium
32%
+21% better vs. Valium
11%
-4% worse vs. Valium
585 reviews
Have you used Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ValiumUnisom

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

More about Valium side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Unisom »
How it works
ValiumUnisom
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.Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.
Type of medication
ValiumUnisom
Prescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
ValiumUnisom
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ValiumUnisom
Risk factors for serious side effects
ValiumUnisom
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
  • Using other drugs with similar ingredients
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Children age 6 years or younger
Detailed Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine) 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.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Alcohol
ValiumUnisom
  • 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.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
Kidneys and liver
ValiumUnisom
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
ValiumUnisom
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
Upsides and benefits
ValiumUnisom
  • 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.
  • Works well to help you fall asleep and doesn't make you feel groggy the next morning.
  • Has fewer side effects than prescription sleep aid medications.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
Downsides and risks
ValiumUnisom
  • 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.
  • Shouldn't be used unless you have a full night to sleep.
  • You shouldn't drive after taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) until you know how it affects you.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
  • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ValiumUnisom
  • 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.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor. A different medication might work better for you long-term.
  • Unisom comes in two different generic forms, doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) and diphenhydramine (other Unisom products). Both are antihistamines that help you sleep.
Learn more
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Unisom Sleeptabs (doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it