Can you use valium for heart palpitations?

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Page last updated: 23/09/2022

In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can you use valium for heart palpitations?”. Valium is an anti-anxiety medication that belongs to the class of benzodiazepines. It is used for a number of health conditions. This blog will cover the safety and efficacy of valium for the treatment of heart palpitations. 

Can you use valium for heart palpitations? 

Yes, valium (Diazepam) can be used for heart palpitations, but only when your palpitations are linked to anxiety and stress. Valium is a benzodiazepine, which is actually an anti-anxiety medication. It is used to help control anxiety, convulsions and panic attacks. 

This medication basically mimics inhibitory chemicals in your brain, like GABA, to control the excessive neuronal activity. It is a known fact that stress and anxiety can cause heart palpitations. 

Anxiety, stress or anything that can make you anxious have a prominent impact on two of your major physiological systems: cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. 

Ever wondered how excessive stress and anxiety either causes abnormal heartbeats or a sudden trip to the bathroom? That’s because anxiety stimulates the activities of these two systems. When you get anxious, your heart starts to beat faster and harder. 

The greater the anxiety, the harder your heart beats. This condition can be controlled by valium or other benzodiazepines. If we talk about the direct effect of benzodiazepine on the heart, then we may not have a proper explanation. 

Several research studies have investigated the effects of benzodiazepines on your cardiac health. Several studies indicated that valium can not help non-anxiety related heart palpitations, as it does not have a direct effect on the heart. 

It may produce some effects on higher doses, but it is not recommended to take benzodiazepines on higher doses. These agents can significantly cause an addiction and it becomes extremely difficult to get rid of it. 

In such conditions, beta-blockers are preferred to control heart palpitations and these agents can be used to control anxiety as well. 

However, the combination of these two agents can also be used to treat heart palpitations comorbid with anxiety and stress, as valium and beta-blockers are selective drugs for anxiety and heart palpitations respectively. 

Although the combination can work really well for some people, it is not recommended to start taking these meds on your own or without your doctor’s approval. 

Can you use valium for heart palpitations?

What are heart palpitations and why do they occur? 

Heart palpitations are abnormal heartbeats, which are too hard and fast. You can literally feel your entire heart beating in your chest. You may notice heart palpitations in your chest, neck or shoulders.

They can be scary or bothersome. Palpitations are not that harmful and can fade away on their own, but they are considered dangerous when coupled with following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting

They can occur because of the following reasons

  • lifestyle factors
  • emotions and psychological triggers
  • hormone changes
  • heart rhythm problems
  • heart conditions
  • other medical conditions
  • Certain medications

Lifestyle factors

Lifestyle factors are considered most important in regulating your heart rate and blood pressure. Palpitations can be triggered by high intensity exercises, excessive use of alcohol and caffeine, poor sleep quality, overeating or eating too much spicy food.

Palpitations triggered by such factors are not so dangerous and can go away on their own. However, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you don’t want them to come back.

Emotional or psychological factors

Heart palpitations are also often caused by emotions or psychological issues, such as excitement or nervousness, stress or anxiety and panic attacks (sudden, uncontrollable attacks of fear and worry. A patient might unwillingly exaggerate a certain condition and gets frightened)

Hormonal changes

Heart palpitations in women can sometimes be the result of hormonal changes that happen during periods, pregnancy, or menopause. In these cases, the palpitations are usually temporary and are not something to be concerned about. 

Problems associated with heart rhythms

Palpitations can also be triggered by some heart conditions associated with arrhythmia. These conditions include:

  • A condition called atrial fibrillation, in which heartbeats are fast and irregular.
  • A condition known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which is characterised by unusual fast heartbeats.
  • A condition called ventricular tachycardia, which is a dangerous condition. It involves irregular heartbeat and can sometimes cause unconsciousness 

Other medical conditions

Other medical conditions that can cause heart palpitations include:

  • Hyperthyroidism, a condition in which there is overproduction of thyroid hormones by thyroid gland, as a result of its over activity
  • Hypoglycaemia, which in simple words mean low blood glucose level.
  • Anaemia, which indicates the deficiency of red blood cells. In this condition, the heart works faster to provide enough oxygen to all cells of the body. 
  • Orthostatic hypotension, a condition which causes dizziness triggered by standing up too fast.
  • Fever
  • Dehydration 

Certain medications

Some medications can cause heart palpitations, these include:

  • Anti-asthmatic medicines, which include salbutamol and ipratropium bromide
  • Antihypertensive agents 
  • Antihistamines, also called anti-allergies.
  • Antimicrobial therapy with macrolides, which include drugs like erythromycin, clarithromycin etc. Azithromycin of this class is the most common antibiotic for triggering heart palpitations in women. 
  • Antidepressants 
  • Antifungal medicines, which include ketoconazole, itraconazole etc.

The above mentioned medications are the most common meds for causing heart palpitations in some individuals. There are plenty of other medications as well that may make abnormal cardiac changes in your body. 

Make sure you report to your healthcare provider as soon as you start feeling down or if you feel that your prescription medications are making negative changes in your system. Do not stop any medication without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. 

What are the side effects associated with the use of Valium? 

Valium (Diazepam) is associated with a number of side effects. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness or fatigue 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Muscle pain
  • Vision problems 
  • Headache 
  • Hypersomnia 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Troubled or intrusive thoughts
  • Impairment of motor coordination 
  • Constipation or diarrhoea 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Increased or decreased appetite 

Serious side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, painful blisters, blue-purple patches, burning sensation etc. 
  • Serious respiratory depression which lowers down breathing rate and can decrease the availability of oxygen in the blood. It could be life-threatening for people suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Dementia 
  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Blackouts 

These side effects can vary from person to person and they can get much more pronounced when valium gets misused. In case you suffer from an accidental overdose , call a helpline as soon as you can. 

Inform them properly how much is taken and when. Make sure you keep these pills away from your children and pets, if any. In order to do that, keep the bottle out of their reach. 

Valium comes with a number of warnings, especially for people who are suffering from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. It is because this medication is associated with respiratory depression. 

No matter how low the dose is, it still depresses your respiratory system to some extent. Several experts believe that the deaths from benzodiazepines overdose usually occur because of this respiratory depression. 

Now, you can imagine how this side effect can have a negative impact on people who are already suffering from respiratory illnesses. This is exactly why such people should use valium or any other benzodiazepine properly and avoid misusing it. The higher doses can be deadly for them. 

Inform your doctor if you’re pregnant, trying to conceive. Valium should not be used by pregnant women as it can be dangerous for the foetus, especially when used in the third trimester. 

Inform your doctor if you’re a breastfeeding mother. Valium is capable of passing into the breastmilk and may cause side effects in newborns. 

Valium may cause depression and induce suicidal behavior in users. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have talked about the safety and efficacy of valium for the treatment of heart palpitations. It can be used for heart palpitations, but only when your palpitations are linked to anxiety and stress. 

Several studies indicated that valium can not help non-anxiety related heart palpitations, as it does not have a direct effect on the heart. It may produce some effects on higher doses, but it is not recommended to take benzodiazepines on higher doses. 

These agents can significantly cause an addiction and it becomes extremely difficult to get rid of it. Make sure you only use valium for heart palpitations when prescribed by your healthcare provider. It is also quite important to stick to your doctor’s recommended dose. 

FAQs: valium for heart palpitations  

Can diazepam help with irregular heartbeat?

Yes, valium (Diazepam) can be used for heart palpitations, but only when your palpitations are linked to anxiety and stress. Valium is a benzodiazepine, which is actually an anti-anxiety medication. It is used to help control anxiety, convulsions and panic attacks. This medication basically mimics inhibitory chemicals in your brain, like GABA, to control the excessive neuronal activity.

Does Valium help heart problems?

Valium is basically an anti-anxiety medication, but it can control heart palpitations and high blood pressure. However, it does produce this effect directly. Several studies indicated that valium can not help non-anxiety related heart palpitations, as it does not have a direct effect on the heart. It may produce some effects on higher doses, but it is not recommended to take benzodiazepines on higher doses. 

What drugs cause heart palpitations?

  • Anti-asthmatic medicines, which include salbutamol and ipratropium bromide
  • Antihypertensive agents 
  • Antihistamines, also called anti-allergies.
  • Antimicrobial therapy with macrolides, which include drugs like erythromycin, clarithromycin etc. Azithromycin of this class is the most common antibiotic for triggering heart palpitations in women. 
  • Antidepressants 
  • Antifungal medicines, which include ketoconazole, itraconazole etc.

Can you take diazepam with heart problems?

Yes, you can take diazepam if you’re suffering from a cardiac illness. However, you can only take it if it is recommended by your healthcare provider. The dose also makes a huge difference, as lower doses are safer as compared to higher doses. Higher doses may exacerbate your cardiac condition and cause lethal side effects. They can also cause addiction. 

What medications are contraindicated with Valium?

  • Other anti-anxiety medications or sleeping pills. The concomitant use can dangerously increase the sedation and may cause confusion. 
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Opioid drugs, including painkillers and anti-tussive (cough relieving) medications. The concomitant use can cause serious psychological side effects and respiratory depression. 
  • Alcohol

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