Chlordiazepoxide ( Libritabs, Librium ) data sheet


How is Librium Used?

Librium® is the brand name for the benzodiazepine Chlordiazepoxide and is used for short term (2-4 weeks) treatment of compulsive disorders and severe anxiety. Severe anxiety is defined as anxiety that is disabling and causing unacceptable levels of stress.

Librium is also used for treatment of acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

How Does Librium Work?

Librium is a sedative, hypnotic and anticonvulsant drug that affects the central nervous system. Librium acts as a muscle relaxant and anxiolytic, as well as a sedative and reduces anxiety, tension and motor excitement.

Possible Side Effects of Librium

Librium, like most drugs has potential side effects for the user. Side effects experienced my patients taking Librium include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Fainting
  • Changes in libido (sex drive)
  • Drowsiness
  • Skin rash
  • Liver problems
  • Jaundice
  • Swelling/fluid retention
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Impaired learning
  • Impaired memory
  • Poor muscle coordination

Anyone experiencing these side effects should discuss them with their health care provider.


Two main issues with Librium are tolerance and dependence. Because of this short term use is recommended. Research has shown that Librium stops helping with sleep within 3-15 days of use and is not beneficial treatment of anxiety after 4 months due to patients building up a tolerance.

People taking Librium can also develop a physical addiction or dependence on the drug that results in withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation. Librium should never be discontinued suddenly or without the guidance of a health care provider.

Librium can cause serious medical conditions when taken with other medications, including but not limited to respiratory depression, severe sedation, heart rate irregularities and hypotension. It is crucial that anyone considering taking Librium fully disclose all medication currently used to their health care provider so harmful interactions may be avoided.

Elderly persons are at risk for complications for the use of Librium because of a slower metabolic rate. This can result in Librium accumulating in the body.

Women who are pregnant, nursing or considering pregnancy should not take Librium unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. Some drugs in the benzodiazepine class have been shown to be harmful to a developing fetus and can also be passed through breast milk.

Librium should not be taken by anyone with a history of the following conditions:

  • Liver disease
  • Allergies to benzodiazepines
  • Ataxia
  • Alcohol or drug dependence
  • Glaucoma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Co-morbid psychiatric disorders

Librium should also not be used by anyone taking other psychoactive drugs.

To find out of Librium is the best medication for you, please consult your health care provider.


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