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Librium Abuse, Dependence,
and Treatment

Librium was the first benzodiazepine ever created and paved the way for this class of drugs that would dominate anxiety treatment in America for years to come. Librium or chlordiazepoxide was found to be an effective hypnotic, anxiolytic, and muscle relaxant soon after its accidental discovery in 1957. Scientists were attempting to create an artificial dye and were surprised by the medical applications of the chemical they had synthesized. Three years after this discovery, Librium was made available to the public and thousands began utilizing it.


Librium is a sedative and hypnotic under the benzodiazepine class. It is classified legally as a Schedule IV substance.


Librium is approved for the short-term treatment of anxiety which is debilitating to the sufferer. It is also indicated to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome and as a preoperative anxiolytic.


Librium contains amnestic, anxiolytic, hypnotic and skeletal muscle relaxant properties. Chlordiazepoxide also has sedative, appetite-stimulating and weak analgesic actions. The half-life of this benzodiazepine is between 24 and 48 hours which means it takes several hours for peak blood levels to be reached.

Common side effects of the medication include clumsiness, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, unsteadiness, and unusual weakness. Allergic reactions are possible and can manifest as a rash, hives, or a yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Similar drugs

Other benzodiazepines with similar effects to Librium include alprazolam, bromazepam, delorazepam, clonazepam, diazepam, etizolam, and lorazepam.

Addiction information

Librium has the potential to cause physical dependence and addiction. This possibility is heightened if Librium is ingested everyday or for extended periods of time. Many of those with a Librium problem use the substance in combination with other drugs. Librium can boost the relaxant and euphoric properties of opiates or marijuana. It can also be used to limit the amount of unwanted effects from stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine.


After the human body becomes accustomed to relying on a depressant such as Librium, functioning normally can become difficult. Librium withdrawal symptoms are extensive and severe in many cases. These abnormalities may include panic attacks, seizures, personality changes, heart palpitations, memory loss, fever, sweating, anxiety and depression.


Overdose on Librium is usually attributed to its use in combination with other CNS depressants. However, overdose on Librium alone is possible. Some symptoms of Librium overdose are somnolence, mental confusion, hypotension, hypoventilation, impaired motor functions and coma. Flumazenil, a specific benzodiazepine-receptor antagonist, may be used as an adjunct to properly manage a benzodiazepine overdose.


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