Compare Zanaflex vs. Valium

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

Zanaflex
(Tizanidine)

Valium
(Diazepam)

Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (Tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. Try other options before using this.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
69%
10% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
52%
19% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
16%
+5% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
Side effects
ZanaflexValium

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

FDA side effect reports for Zanaflex »

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

More about Valium side effects »
How it works
ZanaflexValium
Zanaflex (Tizanidine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.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.
Type of medication
ZanaflexValium
Muscle relaxer
Centrally-acting alpha agonist
Prescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Available as
ZanaflexValium
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for (click to learn more)
ZanaflexValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZanaflexValium
    • 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 »
      • 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 »
          Pregnancy category
          ZanaflexValium
          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
          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
          Alcohol
          • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
          • 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.
          Food
          • 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.
          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 dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
          • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
          • 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.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          ZanaflexValium
          • 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.
          • 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.
          Downsides and risks
          ZanaflexValium
          • 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.
          • 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.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          ZanaflexValium
          • 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.
          • 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.
          Learn more
          More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert