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Bottle of Valium with original packaging

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‘Valium’ is the brand name for diazepam. Diazepam is a sedative drug prescribed to treat disorders such as anxiety and severe agitation. It also treats psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder, and controls convulsions. Valium was first prescribed in 1963 and is still dispensed today. The drug became known as ‘mother’s little helper’ in the 1960s and 1970s due to the large numbers of women taking it. Valium became hugely popular and remains the bestselling pharmaceutical in history, as of 2010. This glass drop bottle contains 20ml of Valium. It is seen on the right. A larger bottle of Valium syrup (1986-1248/537) is on the left. Both were manufactured by pharmaceutical company Roche, specifically for the French market.

Object number:

1989-168/5

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Glossary:

Glossary: sedative

Drugs used for their calming effect, to reduce anxiety and tension. At high doses they cause sleep.

Glossary: controlled drug

Substances that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (UK). These drugs are classified according to the amount of harm they cause when misused.

Glossary: psychotropic drug

A term used to describe drugs that affect mood and the mind.