Below is an overview of some of the main things to know about the brand name drug Librium, which is classified as a benzodiazepine.
- The generic name for Librium is chlordiazepoxide
- Librium affects brain chemicals that can cause anxiety, and along with the short-term treatment of anxiety it can be used for alcohol withdrawal
- Librium can be habit-forming, so you should follow your doctor’s Librium dosage guide exactly
Table of Contents
What is Librium?
As was touched on above, Librium is a benzo that’s available by prescription. Benzos are psychoactive drugs that can treat conditions like insomnia and anxiety. Benzos have sedative, antianxiety, hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxing properties and the first one was developed in 1955. Benzos like Librium are among the most commonly prescribed medicines in the U.S.
In general, benzos like Librium are thought to be fairly safe for short-term use, but not for long-term use.
While they can treat a wide variety of health conditions, they work by inhibiting the brain’s GABA activity, reducing neural activity that can result in anxiety. If someone is a long-term user of benzos, it can result in a physical dependence, and sometimes this can occur if the person has only been using them a few weeks.
Understanding how Librium works and benzos, in general, relies on looking at how anxiety happens. When you feel anxious, it’s because your brain is overactive. The neural activity is too excited, and you need messages that will let the cells know to slow down. That’s the role of a benzo like Librium.
Other commonly prescribed benzos include Xanax, Valium, and Tranxene. A few benzodiazepines are used like Librium to treat not only anxiety but also alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
When you are prescribed Librium, it comes as a capsule or tablet that’s taken orally. It should be taken anywhere from one to four times daily, depending on your doctor’s instructions.
The Librium dosage you’re prescribed will depend on the situation. If you suffer from severe acute anxiety, you will usually be prescribed to take a Librium dosage of 20 to 25 mg three to four times a day.
If you’re taking Librium because you’re feeling anxious before surgery, you may take a dosage of 5 to 10 mg three to four times per day, leading up to surgery.
When Librium is prescribed for the acute symptoms of alcohol withdrawal the starting dosage is usually much higher. Doctors will often prescribe a dosage of anywhere from 50 to 100 mg, and the person will take that dosage until they’ve reached up to 300 mg in a day. With Librium dosages and acute alcohol withdrawal, it’s usually the first day when a person stops drinking that the highest amounts of the drug are given. Then, each day they are gradually tapered to a lower dose as they progress through the stages of alcohol withdrawal.
For older adults who are prescribed Librium doctors usually try to limit the dosage as much as possible to avoid over sedation or dangerous coordination problems. The typical Librium dosage for an older person would be 5 mg up to four times a day.
Other considerations that are looked at when determining a Librium dosage along with age and medical conditions being treated include other medicines the person may be taking and other medical conditions they may have.
No matter what your situation, it is critical that you don’t take more than the prescribed amount of Librium. There are several reasons for this. The first is that it can increase your chances of becoming addicted to the drug or dependent on it. Also, if you take too much Librium you’re at risk of overdosing. Signs of an overdose can include confusion, extreme sleepiness, and coma.
If someone is on Librium and misses a dose, they’re directed to take it as soon as they remember. If it’s too close to the time for their next dose, they’re told to skip it and not try to take extra Librium to make up for it.
It’s important when looking at a Librium dosage guide to also understand that you shouldn’t drink alcohol when taking this drug, nor should you mix it with other substances like sleeping pills, narcotic pain medicines, or muscle relaxants.
Also relevant to a Librium dosage guide is the concept of a Librium taper. Even when you take Librium exactly as prescribed, there is the potential for physical dependence. This means that if you stop taking it cold turkey, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. To avoid this, doctors will usually advise patients of a Librium taper schedule to wean them off the medication without withdrawal gradually.
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