An Overview of Librium


Librium, also known as chlordiazepoxide in its generic form, is a benzodiazepine drug that is prescribed to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms. Librium has both sedative and hypnotic properties. It can be used to treat insomnia, anxiety, muscle tension, and seizures. Librium, along with other benzodiazepine drugs, has been proven to be useful in treating symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. In 1959, it was the first benzodiazepine drug to be synthesized, and has been available for use since the 1960s.

An Overview of Librium
Librium is useful as a short-term treatment for a number of conditions, including insomnia, muscle tension, anxiety and seizures. Librium has a long half-life when compared to other benzodiazepine drugs. While Librium may be a viable option to treat these conditions, it should be noted that the body starts to build up a tolerance to the drug very quickly, making the drug less effective after several days or weeks of usage. For this reason, Librium is not considered to be a long-term solution for anxiety, insomnia or other conditions. It is best used to treat acute symptoms.

Librium should also not be taken by patients who have liver problems, including hepatitis and cirrhosis, sleep apnea, ataxia or glaucoma. This can lead to potential complications. Women who are pregnant or nursing are also advised not to take Librium or other benzodiazepines due to the risks of birth defects and transfer of the drug to infants. In cases where a pregnant or nursing woman has a severe instance of acute anxiety, temporary treatment with Librium may be advised only if a doctor determines that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Librium has several potential side effects associated with it. They include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Fainting
  • Menstrual disruptions
  • Muscle soreness or tension
  • Irritability
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Coma
Since they were introduced in the 1960s, benzodiazepines have been commonly abused as recreational drugs. When they are taken in high doses, benzodiazepines can bring about a euphoric experience that is similar to alcohol intoxication. While the psychoactive potential of Librium and similar drugs are not particularly high when taken by themselves, people often combine benzodiazepines with other substances. People who take benzodiazepines recreationally often mix the drugs with alcohol, marijuana or opiates to enhance the euphoric effects and may also use them in combination with cocaine or amphetamines to help deal with the withdrawal symptoms and the process of “coming down.”
Benzodiazepines are considered to be safe only when used for a short time and as prescribed because patients will quickly build up a tolerance to them. Developing a tolerance is even more likely to occur when the drug is taken in doses that exceed the recommended amount, or when people take them in ways that are not advised. People who use Librium recreationally or fail to follow their prescribed dosage recommendations are at high risk of developing a tolerance and becoming addicted and physically dependent upon the drug. Dependence on benzodiazepines is common and leads to severe, sometimes fatal, withdrawal symptoms. In fact, it is likely that withdrawal from Librium will bring about the very same symptoms that the drug was originally prescribed to address -insomnia, anxiety, seizures and muscular tension.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.