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Chlordiazepoxide

Generic name: chlordiazepoxide (KLOR dye AZ e POX ide)
Brand name: Librium, Libritabs, Poxi, Mitran
Dosage forms: oral capsule (10 mg; 25 mg; 5 mg)
Drug class: Benzodiazepines

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 19, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen) that is used to treat anxiety disorders.

Chlordiazepoxide may also be used short-term to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, or anxiety you may have before a surgery.

Chlordiazepoxide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Warnings

Chlordiazepoxide can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication or alcohol.

MISUSE OF chlordiazepoxide CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep this medicine where others cannot get to it.

Do not stop using chlordiazepoxide without asking your doctor. You may have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use. Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer.

Get medical help right away if you stop using chlordiazepoxide and have symptoms such as: unusual muscle movements, being more active or talkative, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, or thoughts about suicide.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use chlordiazepoxide if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Chlordiazepoxide may harm an unborn baby. Avoid taking this medicine during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.

Not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.

How should I take chlordiazepoxide?

Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Never use chlordiazepoxide in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of chlordiazepoxide.

Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medicine where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Chlordiazepoxide is usually taken for no longer than 4 months. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Do not stop using chlordiazepoxide without asking your doctor. You may have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep your medicine in a place where no one can use it improperly.

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What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of chlordiazepoxide can be fatal if you take it with alcohol, opioid medicine, or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Overdose symptoms may include dry mouth, blurred vision, urinating less, constipation, extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, or loss of consciousness.

What should I avoid while taking chlordiazepoxide?

Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how chlordiazepoxide will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Chlordiazepoxide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Chlordiazepoxide can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication or alcohol. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe drowsiness, slurred speech;

  • slow heart rate, slow breathing (breathing may stop);

  • problems with memory or concentration;

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;

  • problems with balance or muscle movement;

  • confusion, excitement, paranoia, anger, aggression; or

  • stomach pain, loss of appetite.

Drowsiness or dizziness may last longer in older adults. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;

  • confusion; or

  • balance problems.

After you stop using chlordiazepoxide, get medical help right away if you have symptoms such as: unusual muscle movements, being more active or talkative, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, suicidal thoughts or actions.

Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer after stopping this medicine suddenly. Tell your doctor if you have ongoing anxiety, depression, problems with memory or thinking, trouble sleeping, ringing in your ears, a burning or prickly feeling, or a crawling sensation under your skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect chlordiazepoxide?

Using chlordiazepoxide with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Other drugs may affect chlordiazepoxide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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