Side Effects and Risks of Taking Librium
Overview of Librium
Librium, known by the generic name chlordiazepoxide, is a benzodiazepine drug used to treat acute symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, seizures, muscular tension and alcohol withdrawal. The drug was first created in 1959 and was the first benzodiazepine to be synthesized. The drug is recommended only for short-term treatment periods due to its long half-life and its potential for addiction and dependence. Several of the conditions that Librium treats are better managed with alternative drugs and methods. Librium is considered to be a last resort or special circumstances option.
Side effects include:
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion or disorientation
- Constipation or other digestive troubles
- Lethargy and sedation
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Decreased or increased libido
- Menstrual changes
- Liver problems
- Loss of muscle coordination
Elderly patients are also more likely to develop a tolerance and, consequently, a dependence on the drug. Patients who become dependent on benzodiazepines often suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. Dependency is addressed by slowly reducing dosage levels over time, allowing the body to adjust to lower amounts of the drug gradually. Withdrawal symptoms tend to mirror the symptoms that Librium is used to treat in the first place and can last for months or even years in some cases.
It is also advised that women who are nursing should avoid using Librium. Due to its long half-life, Librium can be easily passed to nursing infants via the breast milk. The choice of whether or not to take Librium during pregnancy or while nursing ultimately involves weighing the risks of taking the medication against the risks of abstaining from it. Women who suffer from acute anxiety or other conditions may need to turn to Librium if the consequences of their symptoms pose a greater threat to the pregnancy than the possible side effects of the drug.
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.
Have more questions about Librium abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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