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Generic Name: chlordiazepoxide (KLOR dye AZ e POX ide)
Brand Name: Librium, Libritabs, Poxi, Mitran

Medically reviewed by on Sep 18, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). Chlordiazepoxide affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.

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

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

Important Information

Chlordiazepoxide may be habit-forming. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away chlordiazepoxide is against the law.

Before taking this medicine

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

To make sure chlordiazepoxide is safe for you, tell your doctor if:

  • you have porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);

  • you take a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or

  • you take a narcotic (opioid) medication.

The sedative effects of chlordiazepoxide may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking chlordiazepoxide.

Do not use chlordiazepoxide if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects. Your baby could also become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking chlordiazepoxide.

It is not known whether chlordiazepoxide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Chlordiazepoxide is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.

How should I take chlordiazepoxide?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never use chlordiazepoxide in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Chlordiazepoxide may be habit-forming. Never share chlordiazepoxide with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Do not stop using chlordiazepoxide suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using chlordiazepoxide.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Chlordiazepoxide is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, or loss of consciousness.

What should I avoid while taking chlordiazepoxide?

Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.

Chlordiazepoxide may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how chlordiazepoxide will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe drowsiness;

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;

  • confusion, aggression, anger;

  • sudden restless feeling or excitement, worsened sleep problems;

  • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;

  • muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, trouble swallowing; or

  • upper stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Side effects such as drowsiness or balance problems may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

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?

Taking chlordiazepoxide with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with chlordiazepoxide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

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.