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.
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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 Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine)
58%
11% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
32%
20% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
11%
+5% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
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
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Antihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Prescription or OTC
Available as
ValiumUnisom
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
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
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Current liver problems
      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
      • Enlarged prostate
      • History of bladder problems
      • Glaucoma
      • Nursing mothers
      Detailed Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      ValiumUnisom
      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
      NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

      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.

      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.
      • Drinking alcohol while taking Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) isn't recommended.
      • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
      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 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.
      • Shouldn't be used unless you have a full night to sleep.
      • Has fewer side effects than prescription sleep aid medications.
      • Not habit-forming like other sleep aids can be.
      • Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
      • Unisom comes in two different generic forms, doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs) and diphenhydramine (other Unisom products). Both are antihistamines that help you sleep.
      • People age 65 years and older have a higher risk of side effects from taking antihistamine medications like Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine). Watch for changes in vision, severe dry mouth, trouble urinating, or constipation. The drowsiness caused by Unisom Sleeptabs (Doxylamine) can make you "unsteady" on your feet, leading to a higher chance of falls.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      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
      More about UnisomSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert