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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Coupons for Zanaflex
Best available price for 90 (4mg) tablets of tizanidine
Coupons for Valium
Best available price for 60 (5mg) tablets of valium
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
6Zanaflex
Reviews for Zanaflex
81%
of people (All ages) say Zanaflex is worth it
73%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium
70%
+11% better vs. Zanaflex
53%
+20% better vs. Zanaflex
15%
-4% worse vs. Zanaflex
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ZanaflexValium
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for
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
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Alcohol
ZanaflexValium
  • 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
ZanaflexValium
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
  • 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 since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
ZanaflexValium
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
Sleep
ZanaflexValium
  • 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.
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
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it