Librium is a popular prescription drug mainly used to relieve anxiety and its symptoms. Being an antianxiety drug, it falls under the category of benzodiazepines and is generically called Chlordiazepoxide. The guide below outlines everything you need to know about Librium dosage, practical uses, and its effects.
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What Is Librium?
As mentioned above, Librium is a benzodiazepine available only by prescription. Like any other antianxiety/ benzodiazepines, Librium is a psychoactive drug that majorly treats insomnia and anxiety. Benzodiazepines have significant antianxiety, sedative, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, and muscle-relaxing effects.
These drugs affect the brain’s GABA transmitters, controlling any neural activity that can lead to anxiety. In most cases, the brain can produce sufficient amounts of GABA neurotransmitters, while some brains cannot achieve this threshold without help.
Without sufficient GABA, the brains’ electrical activity is imbalanced, depriving such people able to control various feelings and actions. This is where drugs like Librium and other benzodiazepines come in to rectify and moderate the brains’ nervous activity.
Long-term use of benzodiazepines can lead to physical dependence. This is why most benzodiazepines, including Librium, are prescribed only for short-term use. Other benzodiazepines commonly prescribed in place of Librium include Xanax, Tranxene, and Valium.
Librium is commonly prescribed for the following conditions:
- Anxiety disorders
- To relieve symptoms of anxiety
- To relieve anxiety before surgery
- To treat withdrawal symptoms in acute alcoholism
Librium Dosage Forms
The right form of Librium dosage varies significantly depending on the patients’ age, drug tolerance levels, diagnosis, and gathered previous drug-use history. As such, there is not much variance between Librium dosage and Xanax. Your physician will consider all these factors before prescribing the appropriate dosage.
Nonetheless, Librium dosage is generally categorized into two groups based on whether the patient is a child or an adult.
1. For Adults – Librium 5mg or Librium 10mg capsules can be prescribed 3 or 4 times a day to relieve mild anxiety symptoms. Those with severe anxiety or panic symptoms can respond to a high Librium dosage of between 20 and 25mg three or four times daily. Librium 5mg BD/TDS is best for old adults with serious health issues.
2. For Children – Children can tolerate Librium 5mg two to four times or Librium 10mg three times daily.
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Apart from the two broad range categories above, Librium dosage can also vary depending on the presenting health condition. Some of the common Librium dosage forms include:
- Librium Dosage for Anxiety – If you suffer from acute anxiety, your doctor may prescribe a Librium dosage of 20 to 25mg either to be taken three or four times daily.
- Librium Dosage for Sleep – Your doctor may prescribe Librium 5mg or Librium 10mg capsules to reduce insomnia.
- Librium Dosage for Alcohol Withdrawal – Librium dosage for detox from alcohol is often higher due to the individuals’ tolerance levels. That said, your doctor may prescribe Librium dosage between 50 and 100mg, which can be adjusted to almost 300mg a day. For Librium dosage for alcohol withdrawal, the highest dose is usually given the first day the person stops drinking alcohol. The dose is then gradually lowered as they progress through various stages of alcohol withdrawal.
- Librium Dosage for Opiate Withdrawal – High doses of Librium are also prescribed for opiate withdrawal due to the patient’s tolerance levels. Like alcohol withdrawal, your doctor can prescribe doses starting from 50mg before adjusting accordingly.
- Librium Dosage Seizures – Librium can also reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures, regardless of the predisposing cause or form. For this condition, a Librium dosage of 30mg daily should be given for 25 months.
Like any other drug, if you miss your prescribed dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if you remember, just before the next dose, don’t take both doses. Instead, take the scheduled dose and continue as prescribed.
Regardless of your category, most doctors will prescribe a low Librium dosage before adjusting according to how the patient reacts to the starting dose. Taking more than the prescribed dose can lead to harmful symptoms and withdrawal symptoms.
What Can Cause Librium Overdose?
As mentioned, Librium overdose can occur if you take more than the prescribed amounts. This includes taking a higher dose or taking the doses more frequently. That said, you should stick to the minimum Librium dosage to not have withdrawals as directed by your physician.
If you feel that the drug is taking a toll on you, inform your doctor as they know how to reduce Librium dosage to amounts that produce only the desired effects. Other risk factors of Librium overdose include:
- Combining Librium with other drugs
- Drinking alcohol while under medication
- Smoking Librium
- Crushing and snorting the drug
- Direct injection
Interestingly, most patients who abuse Librium also abuse other hard drugs, especially opioids and alcohol. Stats from the NIDA suggest that 30% of opioid overdoses also involve benzos like Librium. Both drugs have sedating effects, and mixing these two leads to dangerous consequences, especially if taken outside prescription.
Consequences of Librium overdose include:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Heart complications
- Blood pressure
- Confusion and memory loss
- Extreme sleepiness
- Coma and death
Librium Abuse and Addiction
Long-term use of Librium can lead to dependence. Unfortunately, a physical dependence can occur even if you take Librium as prescribed. This makes it difficult to reduce the dosage or stop using these drugs. Therefore, you should seek immediate medical attention if you feel your body has started depending on Librium.
If you have mild dependence on Librium, an outpatient detox can relieve dependence. Unfortunately, withdrawing from Librium is a long process and requires a gradual reduction of your initial dose over weeks or months. This is why consulting your doctor is important, as they know how to reduce Librium dosage for detox.
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The Bottom Line
Librium is an effective drug that helps the body cope with various imbalances. The drug isn’t curative and cannot be used alone. In most cases, it is prescribed in conjunction with other therapies. Taking this drug requires careful monitoring from trained professionals and a supportive environment that enhances a better outcome.