Chlordiazepoxide

Pronunciation

Generic Name: chlordiazepoxide (klor-DYE-aze-ee-POX-ide)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Chlordiazepoxide is used for:

Treating anxiety disorders and withdrawal symptoms due to alcoholism. It is also used to reduce fear and anxiety before undergoing surgery. It may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine. It works by slowing down the movement of chemicals in the brain. This results in a reduction in nervous tension (anxiety) and muscle spasm, and also causes sedation.

Do NOT use chlordiazepoxide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in chlordiazepoxide
  • you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma, severe liver disease, or a mental state where contact with reality is lost (psychosis)
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using chlordiazepoxide:

Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have glaucoma or a predisposition for glaucoma, liver problems, lung problems or COPD, muscle problems, depression, suicidal tendencies, the blood disorder porphyria, or a history of drug abuse or dependence

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with chlordiazepoxide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following medicines.

  • Rifampin because the effectiveness of chlordiazepoxide may be decreased
  • Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole), clozapine, disulfiram, nefazodone, omeprazole, sodium oxybate (GHB), or valproic acid because side effects such as increased sedation may occur
  • Clozapine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if chlordiazepoxide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use chlordiazepoxide:

Use chlordiazepoxide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Chlordiazepoxide may be taken with or without food.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking chlordiazepoxide. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you decrease your dose or suddenly stop taking it. Talk with your doctor about any changes to your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of chlordiazepoxide and you are using it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use chlordiazepoxide.

Important safety information:

  • Chlordiazepoxide may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to chlordiazepoxide. Using chlordiazepoxide alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking chlordiazepoxide. Chlordiazepoxide will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • Use chlordiazepoxide with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Chlordiazepoxide has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking chlordiazepoxide. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using chlordiazepoxide during pregnancy. Chlordiazepoxide is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking chlordiazepoxide.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, chlordiazepoxide may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if chlordiazepoxide stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

Chlordiazepoxide may be habit-forming and lead to DEPENDENCE if used in high doses or for a long period of time. If you are on long-term or high-dosage therapy, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms (eg, convulsions, tremor, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating) if you suddenly stop taking chlordiazepoxide. Do not stop therapy abruptly or change dosage without asking your pharmacist or doctor. Discuss overuse with your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible side effects of chlordiazepoxide:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Clumsiness; confusion; dizziness; excessive daytime drowsiness; headache; lack of coordination; lightheadedness; unsteadiness; unusual weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; clumsiness; deep sleep; drowsiness; loss of consciousness; slow reflexes.

Proper storage of chlordiazepoxide:

Store chlordiazepoxide at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep chlordiazepoxide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about chlordiazepoxide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Chlordiazepoxide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take chlordiazepoxide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about chlordiazepoxide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to chlordiazepoxide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using chlordiazepoxide.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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