Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is a benzodiazepine anxiolytic (antipanic and antianxiety) medication like prescribed to ease symptoms of anxiety, but only for a short period of time. It works by affecting the way some chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters pass messages to certain brain cells. It has a calming effect on various functions of your brain and also has some muscle-relaxing effects. In addition to treating anxiety, doctors sometimes prescribe Librium for the uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating symptoms that accompany alcohol withdrawal.
- In what doses should I take this medication?
- Anxiety: For healthy adults experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, a dose of 5 mg to 10 mg is given three to four times a day. For severe anxiety, the dose is increased to 20 mg to 25 mg three to four times a day.
- Acute Alcohol Withdrawal: A dose of 50 mg to 100 mg of is given (intravenous, intramuscular, or orally) and may be repeated after two to four hours, or as required. The daily dose, however, should not exceed 300 mg per day.
- Does dosage change for elderly individuals or children?
- For elderly individuals experiencing anxiety, a low initial dose of 5 mg two to four times a day may be given orally. The use of Librium in elderly patients is low due to the prolonged sedation the medication causes. This increases the risk of falls and fractures for elderly individuals.
- For children experiencing anxiety, a dose of 5 mg two to four times a day is prescribed. The dose may be increased until the desired effect is achieved.
- How is this drug processed in my body?
Librium is well-absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. After absorption it undergoes metabolism and biotransformation in the liver. After metabolism, it is transformed into its active metabolite desmethyldiazepam. The half-life of Librium is in the range of five to 30 hours. Librium and its metabolites are excreted in the urine.
- Is this drug safe to use if I am pregnant?
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not assigned this medication to an official pregnancy category, it should be avoided during pregnancy unless there are no alternative treatments and the benefits outweigh any increased risks. Use of this drug after the first trimester has been associated with neonatal withdrawal, depression, hypotonia, and difficulty feeding in newborns.
- How can I get the most out of my treatment with this medication?
This drug is primarily prescribed by doctors and psychiatrists to treat anxiety-related conditions and alcohol withdrawal. Many anxiety-related conditions are treated with success with different types of psychotherapy. Additionally, while therapy may not always be viable during alcohol withdrawal, it is used in many different capacities to help people remain sober and work on underlying conditions that contribute to the difficulty of addiction. If you are prescribed this drug, consider finding a therapist or counselor with whom you can form a therapeutic relationship. In therapy you may learn positive coping strategies, more about what you are experiencing, and ways to develop a healthy self-care routine to avoid future issues.