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All about: chlordiazepoxide

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Generic Name: chlordiazepoxide (klor dye az e POX ide)
Brand Names: Libritabs, Librium, Mitran, Poxi

What is chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Chlordiazepoxide affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.

Chlordiazepoxide is used to treat anxiety disorders or alcohol withdrawal.

Chlordiazepoxide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about chlordiazepoxide?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to chlordiazepoxide or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax). This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use chlordiazepoxide if you are pregnant.

Before taking chlordiazepoxide, tell your doctor if you have any breathing problems, glaucoma, porphyria, kidney or liver disease, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Do not drink alcohol while taking chlordiazepoxide. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy. They can add to sleepiness caused by chlordiazepoxide.

Chlordiazepoxide may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Chlordiazepoxide should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking chlordiazepoxide?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to chlordiazepoxide or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).

Before taking chlordiazepoxide, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • glaucoma;

  • asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;

  • porphyria;

  • kidney or liver disease;

  • a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use chlordiazepoxide, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Chlordiazepoxide can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use chlordiazepoxide without your doctor's consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. Chlordiazepoxide may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. 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.

How should I take chlordiazepoxide?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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

Chlordiazepoxide should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 4 months without your doctor's advice. Chlordiazepoxide may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Chlordiazepoxide should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Contact your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms. Do not stop using chlordiazepoxide suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Your symptoms may return when you stop using chlordiazepoxide after using it over a long period of time. You may also have seizures or withdrawal symptoms when you stop using chlordiazepoxide. Withdrawal symptoms may include tremor, sweating, trouble sleeping, muscle cramps, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, memory problems, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, and seizure (convulsions).

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood and liver function may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store chlordiazepoxide at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Benzodiazepines are drugs of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of chlordiazepoxide can be fatal.

Symptoms of a chlordiazepoxide overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, excitation, muscle weakness, loss of balance or coordination, feeling light-headed, fainting, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking chlordiazepoxide?

Do not drink alcohol while taking chlordiazepoxide. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Chlordiazepoxide can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety). They can increase some of the side effects of chlordiazepoxide.

Chlordiazepoxide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • confusion;

  • depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;

  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;

  • hyperactivity, agitation, hostility;

  • hallucinations; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • drowsiness, tiredness;

  • swelling;

  • skin rash;

  • nausea, vomiting, constipation; or

  • irregular menstrual periods.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect chlordiazepoxide?

Before taking chlordiazepoxide, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); or

  • an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril);

  • narcotic medications such as butorphanol (Stadol), codeine, hydrocodone (Loratab, Vicodin), levorphanol (Levo-Dromoran), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), naloxone (Narcan), oxycodone (OxyContin), propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet); or

  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Ascendin), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), protriptyline (Vivactil), sertraline (Zoloft), or trimipramine (Surmontil).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use chlordiazepoxide, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect chlordiazepoxide. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about chlordiazepoxide written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Chlordiazepoxide is available with a prescription under the brand name Librium, Mitran, and Poxi. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.06. Revision Date: 11/28/06 10:16:39 AM.

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