Compare Valium vs. Zanaflex

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

Valium
(Diazepam)

Zanaflex
(Tizanidine)

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. Zanaflex (Tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. Try other options before using this.
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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

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
ValiumZanaflex

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 Zanaflex side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Zanaflex »
How it works
ValiumZanaflex
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.Zanaflex (Tizanidine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.
Type of medication
ValiumZanaflex
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Muscle relaxer
Centrally-acting alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
ValiumZanaflex
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ValiumZanaflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
ValiumZanaflex
  • 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 »
        • Age 65 years or older
        • Taking with alcohol
        • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
        • Age 65 or greater
          Detailed Zanaflex (Tizanidine) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          ValiumZanaflex
          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.
          • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
          Food
          No specific food-related info.
          • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
          • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
          • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
          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.
          • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
          • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          ValiumZanaflex
          • 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.
          • Relieves muscle spasms well.
          • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
          • Available as a generic.
          • Available in a tablet or capsule form. It also comes in a capsule that can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people that can't swallow pills.
          Downsides and risks
          ValiumZanaflex
          • 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.
          • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
          • Zanaflex (Tizanidine) can lower blood pressure, so be careful if you are already on a blood pressure medication.
          • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
          • Elderly individuals have more side effects when taking Zanaflex (Tizanidine).
          • Can't stop taking this abruptly if you use it regularly.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          ValiumZanaflex
          • 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, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
          • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
          • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
          • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
          • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
          • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
          Learn more
          More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert