Substance Use

What Are the Side Effects of Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) Abuse?

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Side Effects of Chlordiazepoxide/Librium Abuse

When taken in high doses, chlordiazepoxide can cause euphoria and relaxation. Unfortunately, these same effects can make recovering from substance abuse difficult. This prescription drug can also cause physical dependence and negative symptoms, and withdrawal from it can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Keep reading to learn common side effects, the long-term effects of abusing chlordiazepoxide, and what you can expect from the withdrawal process.

Treatment options are available for those struggling with chlordiazepoxide abuse. For support and detox programs at Zinnia Health‘s recovery centers, call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439. We work with most healthcare providers.

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What Is Chlordiazepoxide?

The controlled substance chlordiazepoxide, known by the brand name Librium, is a type of benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines, also called benzos, are a class of drugs typically used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, seizures, and insomnia. Benzos work by depressing the central nervous system.

Schedule IV chlordiazepoxide is used to treat anxiety disorders and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It can be habit-forming and should only be taken under the care of a medical professional. If abused, chlordiazepoxide can lead to serious side effects. 

What Are the Common Side Effects Of Chlordiazepoxide?

The most common side effects of Librium are drowsiness, fatigue, and dizziness

Other common side effects include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Headache 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Rash 
  • Itching 

Short-Term Effects of Chlordiazepoxide

Some short-term side effects and symptoms of Librium abuse include:

  • Impaired coordination 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Memory problems 
  • Difficulty concentrating  

Long-Term Effects of Chlordiazepoxide

Long-term use of chlordiazepoxide can be life-threatening. Some long-term effects of chlordiazepoxide abuse include:

  • Anxiety  
  • Depression  
  • Psychosis  
  • Hallucinations  
  • Seizures  
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Liver damage  
  • Kidney damage 
  • Librium addiction  

What Does Chlordiazepoxide Do to the Body?

Chlordiazepoxide works by binding to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. GABA, a neurotransmitter amino acid, reduces neuronal activity and has a calming effect. Chlordiazepoxide also has amnestic, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties.

The use of Librium can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. In rare cases, this prescription drug may also cause more severe side effects like respiratory depression or hypotension. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms when taking or abusing chlordiazepoxide, call your doctor or seek emergency medical treatment:

  • Unusual movements
  • Tinnitus
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Trouble remembering things or concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Seizures, tremors, or muscle twitching
  • Sudden changes in mental health
  • Burning or prickling feeling in hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Hallucinating
  • Thinking about harming or killing yourself or others
  • Overexcitement
  • Psychosis

These symptoms can indicate a severe medical condition and should not be ignored. Seek medical attention immediately after experiencing any of these symptoms.

How Does Chlordiazepoxide Make You Feel?

Chlordiazepoxide works by depressing the central nervous system, and it can cause drowsiness and muscle relaxation. In some cases, people may use chlordiazepoxide to help manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, agitation, and tremors. It can also decrease the number of seizures that occur during withdrawal.

Because of the drug’s sedative effects, people should use chlordiazepoxide with caution if they plan to drive or operate heavy machinery. 

Quitting chlordiazepoxide cold turkey can be difficult and dangerous, as it can cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. To find a treatment program to help you overcome chlordiazepoxide abuse, reach out to the caring professionals at Zinnia Health.

Does Chlordiazepoxide Cause Behavioral Changes?

Chlordiazepoxide can cause changes in mood and behavior. Some people may become more anxious or depressed while taking chlordiazepoxide, while others may experience hallucinations or delusions.

These changes in mood and behavior can be short term or long term depending on how long someone takes chlordiazepoxide. This drug has also been linked to aggression, impulsivity, and other behavioral health issues.

Do Any Medications or Substances Interact with Chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide may increase the risk of serious or life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma if used with specific medications.

Tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take certain opioid medications, such as:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Tramadol

Polydrug use involving chlordiazepoxide and these medications or alcohol may increase the risk of severe or life-threatening side effects.

What Is the Withdrawal Process for Chlordiazepoxide?

The withdrawal process from chlordiazepoxide drug abuse can be difficult and uncomfortable. Symptoms of withdrawal may include anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and flu-like symptoms.

More severe symptoms, such as seizures, can occur in some cases. Therefore, seeking medical advice and tapering off chlordiazepoxide under supervision is vital to avoid potentially harmful Librium withdrawal symptoms.

People who try to quit chlordiazepoxide alone often face difficulties. Many reasons account for this trouble:

  • Chlordiazepoxide is an addictive substance, so people who take it can develop a physical dependence. As a result, they may experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, headaches, and nausea when trying to stop taking the drug.
  • The drug can cause psychological addiction. With this type of addiction, people who take the medication can develop a compulsion to use it, even when it is no longer necessary.
  • Chlordiazepoxide can be difficult to quit because of its sedative effects.

People who take the drug may find that it makes them feel calmer and more relaxed. However, this sedation can also cause concentration and decision-making issues. As a result, people who try to quit chlordiazepoxide on their own after using it for an extended time often find it challenging.

Zinnia Health Can Help

At Zinnia Health, we offer various addiction treatment options that our professionals can tailor to your unique needs. Our treatment centers also provide many inpatient and outpatient programs that support you through the chlordiazepoxide withdrawal process and into recovery.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one quit chlordiazepoxide and other substance use disorders and move toward a healing journey. 

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(855) 430-9439
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