How Is Librium Used For Alcohol Withdrawal?

One of the most common medications administered to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome is called chlordiazepoxide, known by its brand name Librium. It is used to treat anxiety disorders as well as short-term symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

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Librium, a benzodiazepine, is generally prescribed for short-term use in treating anxiety disorders.

However, just like how many benzodiazepines help with alcohol detox, it can also be useful in helping people with severe alcohol use disorders manage withdrawal symptoms during detox.

How Librium Helps Manage Alcohol Withdrawal

Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) is a common form of benzodiazepine and has similar effects to other ‘benzo’ based medications.

These drugs are used to treat pre-surgery anxiety, general anxiety disorders, as well as minor or life-threatening alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Librium and other similar medications work on the brain and nerve receptors, otherwise known as the central nervous system, to produce a calming effect.

It produces this effect on the brain by enhancing the production of a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

This central nervous system depressant can assist in the mitigation of the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal and assist the client to stop drinking.

How Librium is dosed during alcohol withdrawal may depend on a person’s severity of symptoms and other factors.

Stage 1 Dosage

Librium is often prescribed during alcohol detox as a capsule or tablet, starting in 5-milligram, 10-milligram, or 25-milligram doses. It should be taken anywhere from once to four times per day.

Your dosage, however, will differ depending on your status with other mental health complications, such as persons who have anxiety disorders.

In these cases, the initial starting dosage is generally upwards of 20 milligrams.

Stage 2 Dosage

A disclaimer that should be noted about the use of Librium is its high potential for addiction. Given this, a secondary type of dosing is used to mitigate the risk of physical dependence.

The second dosage stage is called the taper dose, which is used to wean people off benzodiazepines.

If you stop taking Librium cold turkey after a long duration of history with the medication, you can experience severe withdrawal symptoms not unlike alcohol withdrawal.

Side Effects Of Using Librium

Like many depressant medications, Librium can produce some pretty unfavorable side effects.

Some of these side effects may include:

  • over-sedation and drowsiness
  • hypertension and increased blood pressure
  • behavioral changes such as confusion, anger, aggression, and suicidal thoughts
  • insomnia and restlessness
  • anxiety and panic attacks

Dangers Of Taking Librium While Drinking Alcohol

There are many dangers of taking medication with alcohol that are not limited to Librium alone.

However, taking Librium alongside alcohol can cause an almost immediate overdose and other potentially fatal health complications.

Other health risks of Librium usage with alcohol include:

  • respiratory depression
  • increased anxiety
  • lowered heart rate
  • dizziness and confusion
  • drowsiness

For these reasons, alcohol detox should only be completed in a medical detox setting, where use of medications and risk for alcohol addiction relapse can be monitored.

Other Treatment Options For Alcohol Withdrawal

Librium is not the only benzodiazepine medication used for treating alcohol dependence.

Additional benzodiazepine-based medications for alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Ativan, also known as lorazepam
  • diazepam, known as Diastat or Valium under its brand name
  • Xanax, or alprazolam

There are also a number of other treatment programs and methods used by healthcare professionals to help treat alcohol substance use disorders.

Some of these treatment methods provided by healthcare providers include:

  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • inpatient and outpatient treatment programs
  • alcohol detoxification
  • telehealth appointments for medical advice
  • improved dietary plans and natural supplements
  • medication for alcohol-induced withdrawal seizures
  • therapy and counseling programs
  • drug use educational programs
  • vocational and recreational activities
  • residential treatment opportunities

Find Alcohol Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or a loved one are searching for an alcohol detox or drug rehab program, give our free helpline a call today to discuss enrollment at Bedrock Recovery Center.

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  2. The National Institute of Health (NIH)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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