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Chlordiazepoxide

Generic Name: Chlordiazepoxide (klor dye az e POKS ide)

Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018

Warning

  • This medicine is a benzodiazepine. The use of a benzodiazepine drug along with opioid drugs has led to very bad side effects. Side effects that have happened include slowed or trouble breathing and death. Opioid drugs include drugs like codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. Opioid drugs are used to treat pain and some are used to treat cough. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are taking chlordiazepoxide with an opioid drug, get medical help right away if you feel very sleepy or dizzy; if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing; or if you pass out. Caregivers or others need to get medical help right away if the patient does not respond, does not answer or react like normal, or will not wake up.

Uses of Chlordiazepoxide:

  • It is used to treat anxiety.
  • It is used to treat alcohol withdrawal.
  • It is used to ease anxiety before surgery.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Chlordiazepoxide?

For all patients taking chlordiazepoxide:

  • If you have an allergy to chlordiazepoxide or any other part of chlordiazepoxide.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

Children:

  • If your child is younger than 6 years of age. Do not give chlordiazepoxide to a child younger than 6 years of age.

This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take chlordiazepoxide with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Chlordiazepoxide?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take chlordiazepoxide. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • Do not stop taking chlordiazepoxide all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of signs of withdrawal. If you need to stop chlordiazepoxide, you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on chlordiazepoxide for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how chlordiazepoxide affects you.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking chlordiazepoxide.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Do not use more than what your doctor told you to use. Do not use more often or longer than what you were told. Doing any of these things may raise the chance of very bad side effects.
  • If you are 65 or older, use chlordiazepoxide with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester.
  • If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking chlordiazepoxide, call your doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. This medicine passes into breast milk and may harm your baby.

How is this medicine (Chlordiazepoxide) best taken?

Use chlordiazepoxide as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you take chlordiazepoxide on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times chlordiazepoxide is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Change in balance.
  • Feeling very sleepy.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Swelling.
  • Trouble controlling body movements.
  • Change in sex interest.
  • Low blood cell counts have happened with chlordiazepoxide. If blood cell counts get very low, this can lead to bleeding problems, infections, or anemia. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.

What are some other side effects of Chlordiazepoxide?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Period (menstrual) changes.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Chlordiazepoxide?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Keep lid tightly closed.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time chlordiazepoxide is refilled. If you have any questions about chlordiazepoxide, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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