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Going for a dental procedure. How long does Valium take to start working?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions
how long does it take 5mg of valium to start working. my dentist gave me three tablets take before a proceedure. he told me take one the night before to see how well it worked. so far it has been 1.5 hours and nothing has happened. it could have been a sugar pill for all the difference it makes. if i take two at one time tomorrow 2 at 5mg) will it make any difference? I am a male, 46, 6' tall, 215 pounds and take no medication on a daily basis.

Thank you.
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Radhika 25 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Valium is a medication from the benzodiazepine. It normally has rapid onset of action one of the fastest acting benzodiazepine drugs.

The time of onset of action depends on the concentration of medication used and the mode of administration. It has much faster action when used intravenously or intramuscular injection. Oral administration produce effects usually within 20 to 30 minutes as the peak blood concentration occurs between 30 minutes and 2 hours after administration.

Some factors that delay its effects are presence of food (huge meal) and increased body fat..

Now you have taken one 5 mg tablet half an hour ago and if they are unable to sleep yet, dose increment is entailed. An increase dose will definitely give you the desired results. However as the side effects of this drug are dose dependent and because it can cause serious side effects, it is advisable that to do the necessary changes after discussing with your prescribing doctor.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up queries. Do accept the answer if you do not have any further queries.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Going for a dental procedure. How long does Valium take to start working? 38 minutes later
It has been three hours since I took the 5mg tablet and no changes with my body at all. If I take the 10mg tomorrow will it be effective at all or is that amount not going to be enough to do me any good? How far in advance should I take the medication before my appointment? Should I ask my dentist for an additional 5mg tablet to make it 15 mg total? Is there anything I can take with the tablets to make them more effective?
Answered by Dr. Radhika 26 minutes later
Hi and thanks again,

The dose of valium prescribed is individualised to XXXXXXX its needs. We usually suggest not taking more than 10mg at any point of time. When this is not effective, then we sometimes increase the dose to its maximum (20mg).

Now coming to your query, valium is used for various purposes. Apart from those I mentioned earlier, it is also used as pre anesthetic medication, i.e. medication before a procedure to reduce anxiety and apprehension. I think your dentist has prescribed you this medication for the same purpose.

Now since you have already taken 5 mg now and hardly find any difference, you may take additional 5 mg tomorrow (that is a total of 10mg) preferably an hour before the procedure after discussing with your doctor. Taking it on empty stomach or preferably with a meal is more effective than taking after food. Avoid drinking tea, caffeine or any other stimulant as they reduce the effectiveness of this drug. If you are on any other medication such as cimetidine or omeprazole, it may be wise to avoid them too as they might interact and prolong the duration of effect.

If you do not find any changes with 10mg, then you may take additional 5-10 mg at your dentist’s office under the guidance of your doctor.

I recommend you to discuss the dose taken with your dentist because, sometimes during the procedure if need be, your dentist may use the same medication to sedate you. In such cases, it’s wise to keep your dentist informed about the additional medications taken earlier so as to avoid chances of over dosage.

Hope this clarifies your doubts. Let me know if I have missed out on any concerns. Do accept the answer if you do not have any other queries.

Wish you good and speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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