Librium is the brand name for Chlordiazepoxide, and it is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The drug is prescribed to treat several anxiety disorders and the symptoms brought on by acute alcohol withdrawal.
This drug is a prescription medication and considered as a benzodiazepine – some other benzodiazepines include:
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
Librium is known to enhance the effects of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) neurotransmitters in the human brain by targeting the CNS (central nervous system) – effectively producing a calming effect. Drinking alcohol on Librium increases the drug’s sedative effects, triggering several health problems and other drug-interaction dangers.
What Is Librium?
Librium was discovered in 1955 and became the first benzodiazepine (benzo) to enter the drug market in the 1960s. Since then, many other anti-anxiety medications have been introduced, including other benzos like Xanax and Klonopin.
Benzodiazepines are habit-forming drugs if abused. This is why people taking it as a prescription medication must know this and should monitor their intake. Not only are the benzos habit forming, but they also cause several serious side effects.
Librium is mainly known to affect the brain chemical, which is known as GABA. Librium increases GABA activity – slowing down certain functions that are controlled by the CNS – central nervous system. The slowing down of these functions results in the sedative effects of Librium. Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) can also increase appetite and reduce heart rates and breathing.
Probable and Common side effects of Librium
- Dry mouth
- Dizziness, fatigue, and confusion
- Memory loss episodes
- Edema and nausea
Librium as a drug is FDA-approved for treating the symptoms of anxiety disorders (Librium comes under anti-anxiety medications) in addition to acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Other off-the-label uses include the drug as a muscle relaxant, helping people fall asleep, and as an anticonvulsant.
Use of Librium
Like all other benzodiazepines – Librium is mainly used to curb anxiety disorders and general agitation. Alcohol is a known obstructer of GABA neurotransmitters (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in the human brain, hindering it from functioning correctly.
This is where Librium helps regulate the communication between the transmitters, which are mostly thrown out of balance while going through withdrawal. This is because the human brain is used to compensate for alcohol’s effects on GABA neurotransmitters.
Librium is used to regulate nervous activity to compensate for the sudden imbalance in the brain.
Librium Intake and Use
As Librium is prescribed to assist with the initial withdrawal effects – many people won’t have to take it for more than a few days to a week. During this duration, there will always be a prescription that will be supervised by a medical professional or a doctor, which will indicate how much of the drug you should take.
Most tablets of Librium come in 5, 10, 20, or 25 milligrams. The primary reason Librium is so popular during alcohol withdrawal is its long half-life. This long half-life of the drug ensures the minor risks of rebound symptoms later in the detox process.
Note: Self-Detox or quitting alcohol cold turkey is extremely dangerous. It is advised to seek professional detox programs for complete and safe recovery.
Things to Know While Taking Librium
Librium is a known addictive substance primarily used for assistance during the detoxification process – thus, there are a few pointers that patients must keep in mind before taking Librium.
Critical factors must be considered when your healthcare provider or doctor determines what dose of Librium to give you. These include:
- If you have liver disease or not
- Patient height, weight, and age
- A complete blood screen test
- Renal function
- The intensity of the presenting symptoms
- Other prescription medications in use
- Patient addiction history
Calling the Doctor
If you notice the under-mentioned side effects, reach out to your doctor immediately or seek urgent medication attention at your nearest treatment center:
- Twitching of the face or the muscles
- Disturbance in the sleep routine and patterns
- Troubles while urinating
- Changes in libido or sex drive
- Jaundice – yellow skin and eyes
- Confusion and depression
- Hyperactivity and hallucinations
- Slurred speech and trouble while walking
Librium for Alcohol Withdrawal
Most medical detox treatment programs for alcohol and drug abuse come with the prescription use of certain medicines to ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Librium is a known sedative, and it has been tested for effectiveness in relieving agitation, severe panic, and tremors during alcohol withdrawal.
The short-term use of Librium during the alcohol detox process may be safe – still, caution is advised. Medical advice and close and careful monitoring are also necessary – as patients with a history of substance abuse might be more likely to get dependent on the drug or end up abusing it.
Shortcomings of Librium as a Cure for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Librium cannot cure feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress post the detox treatment process. All of these can be treated using other medications but not a benzodiazepine. These feelings can also be treated with effective therapy programs.
Alcohol is known to cause massive damage to the human body after prolonged exposure to the drug – and these damages can’t be healed without undergoing successive treatments. Some common physical causes that give rise to negative feelings that come with being sober include:
- Low serotonin
- Deficiency of magnesium
- Low dopamine
- B-vitamin deficits
- Other vitamin and mineral deficits
- Compromised liver health
While your professional healthcare advisor or doctor can assist with all these, Librium can’t.
Librium is a mere tool that helps cope with some aspects of maintaining and achieving sobriety. It is not a cure-all drug and can’t be used alone.
The drug needs to be taken with a firm plan of therapies, constant and careful monitoring from a trained medical expert, and a supportive environment that fosters a healthy outlook.
Anxiety and Substance Abuse
Substance abuse typically comes hand-in-hand with other mental disorders – such as anxiety. One reason is the calming effects of substances, including Librium and alcohol. Many patients have a history of abusing benzos and alcohol – all for coping with anxiety, stress, and panic – or to escape the memories of past trauma – PTSD.
With time Librium and alcohol can turn out to be habit forming. The human body becomes tolerant to a specific drug’s effects needing the patients to take higher dosages of drugs or drink more. Taking more of a drug in negation to what is prescribed or drinking heavily leads to reaching tolerance levels much quicker. Moreover, over-drinking or over-intake of drugs can turn into psychological addiction and physical dependence.
Patients struggling with anxiety and substance abuse may benefit from dual-diagnosis treatment programs. Such treatment addresses co-occurring disorders and helps patients find safer ways to manage chronic and acute anxiety.
Effects of Librium and Alcohol
Similar to Librium, alcohol can also produce a sense of relaxation and calm. Mixing the two substances can cause these and other amplified effects to get even more intense. These effects include extreme dizziness, drowsiness, and severe symptoms of slowed breathing and loss of consciousness.
Effects of mixing Librium and alcohol
- Strange behavior and confusion
- Memory issues
- Impaired motor control
- Slower or shallow breathing
- Amplified risk for overdose
Dangers of Mixing Librium and Alcohol
The collective effects of Librium and alcohol on the human brain can overwhelm the body swiftly. This essentially leads to life-threatening symptoms – particularly in response to the intake of higher doses and heavy drinking.
For the short term, the amplified risk of overdose is perhaps the most pronounced and severe danger. But a few other consequences can arise, including liver damage, which results from the long-term use of Librium and alcohol abuse.
Risk for Overdose
Abusing Librium entails a massive medication intake–leading to an overdose. This becomes more dangerous when Librium is chewed, smoked, snorted, or injected.
The risk factor becomes more pronounced when Librium is mixed with alcohol – in such a case, the overdose is even faster than when Librium is taken alone. This, all-in-all, have many dangerous effects on breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. Slurred speed, hallucinations, and coma can also become a possibility.
Liver damage and diseases are other known expected consequences of the long-term alcohol abuse pattern. The damage to the body can range from mild to severe – dependent on varying factors. Late-stage liver disease due to alcohol abuse can be reversible but might require a transplant in extreme cases.
While it is rare – Librium abuse can potentially cause liver damage. In addition to that, mixing it with alcohol elevates the risks of experiencing toxic effects.
Addiction of any kind is serious, but when it comes to Librium and alcohol, it gets a bit more complicated – but our patients do not have to go through it alone. Our substance abuse programs offer patients a structural treatment and the support that most people going through alcohol addiction and other kinds of substance addiction need to beat their compulsive behaviors and alter their mindset.
Librium and Alcohol Detox Treatment
People who abuse alcohol and Librium will need step detox programs and other forms of addiction treatment. When the human body gets dependent on a substance, a person goes through mild to severe withdrawal symptoms of alcohol withdrawal– while stopping or reducing the substance use.
Alcohol and Librium, both combined, can cause severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking abruptly. These symptoms include seizures and respiratory failures. Therefore, going all in for a medical alcohol detox and Librium detox program can help relieve the burdens of trying to manage the withdrawal symptoms alone.
Not only that but detoxing alone and without the supervision of medical healthcare providers can quickly become a recipe for disaster.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drink alcohol while taking Librium?
The calming effects of Librium on the brain, including the feeling of sedation and calm – make it a helpful prescription medication for treating anxiety and stress. But mixing it with alcohol can present unprecedented results, which can be severely harmful. These adverse side effects begin with instances of blacking out while remaining in full consciousness. This condition is dangerous and can lead to coma or death.
Can I take Librium during pregnancy?
Research studies indicate that Librium and other benzodiazepines can affect the development of a fetus in pregnant women. Some studies indicate the risk and relation of deformities with benzodiazepines. Babies born to mothers using benzos also display symptoms of withdrawal.
Is Librium hard on the liver?
The intake of Librium potentially causes the build-up of Librium in the liver. This is why your doctor will likely ensure you do not have any prior liver damage before prescribing Librium.
Inpatient Treatment Programs at the Haven Detox South Florida
The Haven Detox is an accredited addiction and mental health treatment center dedicated to providing the utmost patient and quality care to each patient. We understand the challenges of substance abuse, addictions, and mental health disorders and are here to help.
Upon entering, we conduct a medical assessment and create an individualized treatment program that best matches each patient’s needs. Our facility provides a medical detox with 24/7 medical supervision and a residential treatment program where patients stay for an extended period in our large comfortable quarters.
Our goal is to provide the utmost comfort and quality care to each of our patients so that they can enjoy a safe and secure recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling, do not hesitate to contact The Haven at (561)- 328-8627. Our admissions counselors are available 24/7 to answer any questions you have about our services.