What is Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) Used For?
Librium is used in acute alcohol withdrawal and as a bridge medication for cessation from some other sedatives. It is also used as a pre-surgical sedative to reduce apprehension and fear.
The drug is also prescribed for the short term relief of anxiety and longer-term management of anxiety disorders, because of its sedative and hypnotic effects.
The drug is not FDA recommended for children under the age of 6.
Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) Alternative Names and Slang
The generic drug name for Librium is chlordiazepoxide.
Librium and other benzodiazepines have developed a fairly common presence on the street, possibly due to their usefulness in easing withdrawals from other street drugs, producing a euphoric and relaxation effect. The drug has acquired nicknames such as benzos, heavenly blues, Z bars, goofballs, tranx, sleepers, valley girls, “blue bombs”, and others.
Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) Side Effects
Librium is a potent CNS depressant, producing a calming effect. In clinical trials using monkeys, hostile monkeys were made tame with low doses of Librium, without sedative effects. The drug reportedly reduced aggression and fear in these monkey trials. The same experiment yielded similar results when performed on mice.
If adverse effects do emerge your physician may suggest reducing the dosage. For life-threatening adverse effects, emergency treatment is required, including arranging immediate transport, by ambulance if needed, to the nearest hospital.
Some of the possible side effects include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Loss of balance, i.e., trouble walking
- Loss of libido
Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) Withdrawal Symptoms
As with all benzodiazepines, there may be some extreme withdrawal adverse effects, especially if the drug is abruptly stopped. These are similar to coming off chronic alcohol use or barbiturates and include:
- Stomach cramps
- Changes in appetite
- Blurred vision
Librium Withdrawal (Chlordiazepoxide)
The FDA recommends not to abruptly stop taking Librium, but to gradually reduce the dosage over a period of time to avoid these harsh adverse effects. (1)
The half-life of the drug is anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, which is considered very long for a benzodiazepine.
Librium is a benzodiazepine, and like all benzos, it should not be stopped cold turkey, unless there is sound medical reasoning. Abrupt discontinuation could result in seizures. There may be the possibility that overestimation as a result of a fast or abrupt cessation could damage the n-MDA receptors, and result in a long term experience of protracted withdrawal.
The most reasonable approach to stopping Librium is to do a gentle taper with medical supervision. Sometimes a residential rehabilitation setting can be warranted as Librium tapering can be completed and often painful, especially when poorly handled. The importance of choosing a facility where the staff members and caregivers are experienced with Librium withdrawal cannot be overstated.
Withdrawal symptoms can last week to significantly longer. Some patients report protracted withdrawal symptoms lasting even years, especially without proper treatment. Patients reporting protracted withdrawal express feelings of anxiety and other symptoms similar to those of early withdrawal. One predominant theory is that this might be due to damaged receptors. Another suspected etiology we have seen clinically is the ongoing effects of a body burden of neurotoxic poisoning. It is common for these individuals to be misunderstood, and subjected to doubt from family members, friends, and even medical providers. Unfortunately, they tend to be further pathologized and often disregarded. It is likely that mainstream viewpoints need to shift and take a deeper look at what these damaged people are truly experiencing and offer them hope and guidance, rather than abandonment.