Compare Xanax vs. Valium

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

Xanax (alprazolam)

Prescription only

Valium (diazepam)

Prescription only
Helps you relax.

Xanax (alprazolam) effectively treats occasional or short-term anxiety and panic attacks. Compared to similar drugs, it is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and can have more interactions with some medicines.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1287 reviewsforXanax
Helps you relax.

Valium (diazepam) is effective for occasional or short-term use for anxiety and muscle spasm. Compared to similar drugs, Valium (diazepam) acts very quickly but can have interactions with other medicines.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 976 reviewsforValium
Upsides
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be used to manage anxiety associated with depression.
  • Works very quickly - in hours.
  • Available in generic.
  • Valium (diazepam) effectively relieves anxiety and muscle spasms.
  • Valium (diazepam) has less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other similar drugs.
  • Works very quickly.
  • Available in generic.
Downsides
  • Use of Xanax (alprazolam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Compared to other similar drugs, Xanax (alprazolam) is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
  • If you have liver problems, Xanax (alprazolam) may not be the best choice since it is processed by the liver. Several drugs can also interfere with how Xanax (alprazolam) works. Talk to your doctor to see if Xanax (alprazolam) is right for you.
  • Use of Valium (diazepam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Valium (diazepam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Most people find that their body will get used to Valium (diazepam) levels and they may need higher doses over time to achieve the same effect.
  • People with severe liver problems should not take Valium (diazepam). Several drugs can also interfere with how Valium (diazepam) works.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Reviews
1287 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
55%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?

Leave a review
976 reviews so far
70%
saidit'sworth it
53%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Valium (diazepam)?

Leave a review
Side effects
24possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    41%
  • Lightheadedness
    21%
  • Dry mouth
    15%
  • Depression
    14%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Confusion
    10%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Diarrhea
    10%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    10%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%
  • Fast heartbeat
    8%
  • Nasal congestion
    7%
  • Blurry vision
    6%
  • Low blood pressure
    5%
  • Nervousness
    4%
  • Increased salivation
    4%
  • Muscle rigidity
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Skin irritation/allergy
    4%
  • Fainting
    3%
  • Weight gain
    3%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Restlessness
    2%
  • Weight loss
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Valium (diazepam) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids
    • Taking Xanax (alprazolam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol
    • Using Xanax (alprazolam) for a longer duration and at high doses
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • History of substance abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking more than 4 mg/day or longer than 12 weeks
    • Stopping Xanax (alprazolam) suddenly
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Severe depression
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Drug interactions
    • Current liver problems
    • Taking medicines such as antifungals, cimetidine, or some HIV medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids
    • Taking Valium (diazepam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol
    • Using Valium (diazepam) for a longer duration and at high doses
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • History of substance abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking long-term
    • Taking a higher dose
    • Stopping Valium (diazepam) suddenly
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol use with Valium (diazepam)
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Drug interactions
    • Current liver problems
    • Taking Tagamet, ketoconazole, Prozac, Prilosec
See more detailed risks and warnings