What is Librium (Chlordiazepoxide)?

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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.

Knowing about a drug and drug addiction is the first step toward receiving treatment - it’s important to have an understanding of your addiction before you can begin to recover from the addiction.
Prescription medications can be as addictive as illicit substances such as heroin or cocaine - and Librium is no exception. This is why, on this page, we are going to be exploring the ins and outs of the prescription drug Librium. Read on to learn all about Librium/Chlordiazepoxide - including what it’s used for, Librium addiction, and what to expect from Librium withdrawal symptoms. Consultation  

Librium: The Basics

Chlordiazepoxide, known by the trade name Librium, is a prescription medication that falls under the drug group of benzodiazepines. Like other benzodiazepines, Librium works by releasing a calming chemical in your brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA. This impacts your central nervous system, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed. Like many other prescription drugs, Librium is a Class-C controlled drug. This means that it is illegal to possess the drug without a prescription - and possessing a Class-C drug without a valid prescription can result in imprisonment and a fine.  

What is Librium Used For?

Librium is a tranquilliser benzodiazepine that is used to treat a range of medical conditions - most prominently, used to treat anxiety disorders and relieve anxiety symptoms. It may also be used to treat symptoms of anxiety before surgery due to the drug’s calming effects. Because Librium can make you sleepy, it is sometimes prescribed to treat problems with sleep - for example, insomnia. When prescribed for anxiety, it is only usually prescribed for a short period. It is not a long-term solution for anxiety.  

Librium For Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Librium can also be used to treat alcohol withdrawal. When you are withdrawing from alcohol, the communication between transmitters in your brain is thrown off balance as the brain compensates for the GABA effects - whereas Librium regulates the nervous activity in your brain. Ultimately, benzodiazepines including chlordiazepoxide, lorazepam and diazepam are considered a safe and effective form of treatment for AWS (alcohol withdrawal syndrome).  

Librium Side Effects

Librium can have many desired effects - for example, drowsiness and tiredness. However, it can also have unwanted side effects. Some common side effects you may experience when taking Librium include:
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Irregular periods
  • Constipation
Many of these side effects are considered mild - however, if you experience dangerous side effects such as trouble urinating, confusion, depression, slurred speech, hallucinations, trouble walking, muscle twitching, jaundice (yellow skin), or unusual hyperactivity, you should seek medical attention immediately. We also recommend you report side effects to your doctor.  

Is Librium Addictive?

Benzodiazepine is one of the most addictive drug classes, which makes Librium an addictive substance. Taking a prescription drug for long periods, or abusing prescription drugs (taking more than your doctor’s dosing instructions or mixing with other drugs or alcohol) can increase the risk of developing a prescription drug addiction. Likewise, using Librium without a prescription can also put you at risk of addiction as well as overdose. Taking benzodiazepines for a long period can quickly lead to you developing a tolerance to the drug. This means you’ll need to take more of it to feel the same effect. Tolerance is the first step toward dependence. Chlordiazepoxide is only prescribed on a short-term basis due to its addictive nature. It is not a practical option for long-term use.  

Signs of Librium Addiction

The key sign that you have a Librium addiction is that you feel a lack of control over taking it - you have cravings for the drug, or you have the desire to stop taking it but you can’t. If you are addicted to the drug, you'll likely feel as though you can’t function without it. Likewise, if you have a physical dependence on Librium, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. You may also have obsessive thoughts about the drug or drastically increase your typical dose. A key sign of drug addiction is drug abuse - taking more than recommended, or using it as a coping mechanism. You may also lie to your loved ones about your drug use, or source Librium through illicit means. Due to trying to source drugs, you may also experience financial difficulties or legal issues. Addiction can also lead to you losing interest in daily activities, and isolating yourself from friends and family.  

Librium Withdrawal Symptoms

When you have a dependence on Librium, if you stop taking the medicine suddenly, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Librium withdrawal symptoms are similar to alcohol withdrawal symptoms and barbiturates - with the severity ranging from mild to severe. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on a range of factors - for example, your typical dose as well as the length of time you’ve been taking Librium. Likewise, the length of time it takes for symptoms to present can also vary, with symptoms usually appearing within two or three days. When withdrawing from Librium, we recommend a medical detox with medical professionals - detoxing from benzodiazepines can be dangerous without the right support and medical assistance. Some common Librium withdrawal symptoms include:
  • Tremors
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Muscle spasms and weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Dysphoria
  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweat, etc.

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

Generally speaking, the more severe your addiction, the more severe the withdrawal process will be. Life-threatening withdrawal symptoms are rare - however, if you feel as though something isn’t quite right when withdrawing from Librium, seek medical help immediately. Severe withdrawal syndrome can include complicated symptoms that are difficult to manage - which is why we recommend a medical detox. At Help4Addiction, we can find the right benzodiazepine detox that suits your preferences and requirements.  

Librium Overdose

Like with opioid medication, if you abuse benzodiazepine medication (including Librium), you increase the risk of having a Librium overdose. Likewise, certain drug interactions - combining Librium with other drugs - can increase the risk of overdose. Be sure to discuss any medication you are currently taking with a doctor before taking Librium. If you miss a dose of Librium, take your missed dose as normal the next day - don’t take an extra dose as this could increase the risk of having an overdose. Some signs of a Librium overdose include confusion, hypotension, unconsciousness, coma, impaired vision, impaired speech, impaired motor control and impaired reflexes. If you notice any of the above signs in yourself or a loved one, seek emergency medical attention. Recovery Consultation  

Help For Librium Addiction

Seeking help for your drug addiction is imperative - over time, your addiction will likely become more severe, and the effects of drug addiction will become more prominent. The longer you are in active addiction, the higher the risk of having a Librium overdose - so seek help now before your addiction progresses and becomes life-threatening. At Help4Addiction, we understand how difficult it can be to not only address that you have an addiction but to seek help for your addiction. With so many rehab options available - for example, residential rehab, outpatient rehab, luxury rehab, private rehab, affordable rehab, etc - it can be overwhelming trying to find the right place to receive drug addiction treatment. This is something we can help with. We will discuss your medical history and your needs to find the right rehab clinic for you, whether you wish to book in for a detox or attend rehab as part of a larger treatment plan. It’s important to taper off your dose slowly instead of suddenly. If you have a mild dependence, you may recover using short-term rehabilitation and therapies. However, a complete treatment plan is recommended if you are used to a high-dosage. This may include medical detoxification to treat symptoms of withdrawal, as well as extensive rehabilitation including therapies. You may also benefit from secondary treatment - ongoing support throughout your recovery journey. Call us today to get the ball rolling on the admissions process and to begin your sober journey.

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