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Librium for Alcohol Withdrawal: Does it Work?

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Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV.

Librium for Alcohol Withdrawal: Does it Work?

Detoxification can be tough, especially if you have a severe alcohol addiction. The good news is that there is support out there for you.

During a medical detox, for example, you will receive professional addiction support. You may also be prescribed detox medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

A common medication prescribed for those detoxing from alcohol is Librium. But how effective is Librium for alcohol withdrawal? Does it work?

That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on to learn more about the effectiveness of Librium during alcohol detox.

What is Librium?

Librium, also known as chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride, is a medication that belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Librium is commonly used to treat anxiety and panic attacks and is often prescribed as a short-term anxiety treatment. It can be used to treat insomnia in the short-term, and may also be administered to relieve anxiety before surgery.

Like most prescription drugs, Librium comes with potential side effects. Some common side effects of Librium include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling

Some may experience more severe side effects when taking Librium. For example, confusion or changes in mood. It's important that you are aware of these potential side effects and report any concerning symptoms to your healthcare provider.

Doctors often prescribe Librium to those undergoing withdrawal from alcohol to help manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications such as withdrawal seizures and delirium tremens (DTs).

One of the key benefits of Librium is its ability to calm the central nervous system. This can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and tremors that are common during alcohol withdrawal. This makes it a valuable tool in the detoxification process and provides patients with a higher level of comfort during this challenging period.

What Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal can be a challenging and often physically demanding experience if you have developed a dependency on alcohol. If you are addicted to alcohol, the severity of withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, it can even become life-threatening.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be impacted by factors such as your age, height, weight, and addiction history.

When you begin detoxing from alcohol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, nausea, sweating, and in more severe cases, withdrawal seizures.

The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is known as delirium tremens (DTs), which can lead to hallucinations, severe confusion, and life-threatening complications.

How to Take Librium for Alcohol Withdrawal

It's important to highlight that the use of Librium during alcohol withdrawal should always be conducted under the supervision of a medical professional.

Attempting to detox from alcohol without proper medical support can be not only unpleasant but also dangerous. The risk of complications, such as seizures and DT, is significantly higher without medical intervention.

Likewise, taking Librium for alcohol withdrawal without medical advice can be dangerous. Always use Librium prescribed or given by a healthcare professional. Your doctor will ensure you take the right dose. Some factors that your doctor may consider when determining the Librium dosage for you include:

  • How intense your withdrawal symptoms are
  • Your addiction history
  • Your age, weight and height
  • Any medical conditions you may have (e.g liver disease)
  • Any medications you are currently taking

Librium is generally only used during the initial stages of alcohol withdrawal. This means that you will only take it for a few days, or up to a week. It is not suitable for long-term use.

Tablets can vary in strength, ranging from 5 mg to 25 mg, increasing in increments of 5 mg. The drug has a long half-life. This means that you will be less likely to experience rebound symptoms further down the line.

If you have a severe addiction and experience severe withdrawal symptoms, you may be given a higher dose of Librium to help you get through the initial stages of detox. Make sure that you check in with your doctor or prescriber during the first couple of days of taking Librium.

What Happens If You Drink Alcohol When Taking Librium?

When you are prescribed Librium for alcohol withdrawal, you should avoid drinking alcohol. This is because of the way that Librium affects your brain.

Alcohol increases the sedative effects of Librium, making you feel sleepier. It can cause negative reactions when mixed with alcohol - for example, you may ‘black out’ whilst being conscious.

In short, drinking alcohol whilst taking Librium is dangerous, and can increase the risk of having an overdose. You should avoid alcohol when using this detox medication.

Does Librium Work for Alcohol Withdrawal?

Librium can help you to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, Librium is not a magical cure for alcohol addiction. Instead, it simply makes the detox process easier.

Detoxification is only a part of a comprehensive addiction treatment programme that includes detoxification, therapy, counselling, and ongoing support.

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, the first step to take is to begin an addiction rehab programme.

However, it's important to recognise that detox alone is not a complete treatment for addiction. It addresses the physical aspect of addiction but does not delve into the psychological, emotional, and behavioural factors that contribute to addiction.

Librium Alternatives for Alcohol Withdrawal

Librium isn’t for everybody - you may be prescribed other medications to treat alcohol withdrawal.

There are several types of medications designed to address various aspects of withdrawal. Benzodiazepines, like Librium, help manage anxiety and seizures by calming the nervous system. Some other detox medications in this drug class may include Diazepam (Valium) or Lorazepam (Ativan).

Another group, antipsychotics, such as haloperidol, assist in controlling hallucinations and severe agitation. Medications like acamprosate and naltrexone support long-term sobriety by reducing alcohol cravings and blocking its pleasurable effects.

Additionally, medications like thiamine are essential to prevent nutritional deficiencies common in heavy drinkers. It's crucial to note that these medications should be prescribed and monitored by healthcare professionals, as misuse can have adverse effects.

Overcome Your Alcohol Addiction Today

At Help4Addiction, we understand that quitting alcohol can be tough. We can find the right alcohol rehab treatment options for you - a rehab centre that meets your needs and preferences.

Whether you’re looking for NHS treatment, luxury rehab or anything in between, we can connect you with the most appropriate treatment provider.

Likewise, if you wish to detox from alcohol at home, we can provide you with a quality at-home detox kit if you meet the eligibility criteria. With this kit, you will receive detox medication to help you through the detox process

Call us through our free helpline today and take an addiction assessment to begin your recovery journey.

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