Precautions and Warnings With Chlordiazepoxide

Before taking chlordiazepoxide, it is important to be aware of the drug's warnings and precautions. For example, chlordiazepoxide is a controlled substance and has the potential to be abused. In addition, the drug may cause severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing in some people, which can potentially be life threatening. Precautions and warnings with chlordiazepoxide also extend to people who are allergic to chlordiazepoxide or any other benzodiazepine medication.

Chlordiazepoxide: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (Librium®) if you have:
 
  • Depression
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse (see Librium and Alcohol)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Chlordiazepoxide

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking chlordiazepoxide include the following:
 
  • Chlordiazepoxide is a controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to be abused. There are special rules and regulations for prescribing and dispensing chlordiazepoxide. Chlordiazepoxide is generally not recommended for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Librium Addiction).
     
  • Like all benzodiazepines, chlordiazepoxide can cause psychological and physical dependence. The risk of abuse and dependence is greater for those taking high chlordiazepoxide doses for long periods of time (more than a few weeks). Because chlordiazepoxide can cause dependence, you should not stop taking chlordiazepoxide suddenly without first discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Librium Withdrawal).
     
  • Chlordiazepoxide can cause severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing, which may be life threatening. This risk is increased when chlordiazepoxide is combined with alcohol, narcotics, or other medications or substances that cause drowsiness and sedation (see Drug Interactions With Chlordiazepoxide for more information). You should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how chlordiazepoxide will affect you.
     
  • Chlordiazepoxide may cause depression and can make preexisting depression worse. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you are depressed or have a history of depression before taking chlordiazepoxide.
     
  • Elderly people are more sensitive to the effects of chlordiazepoxide and may need to start the medication at a low dosage. Chlordiazepoxide may increase the risk of falling, which is especially dangerous in elderly people (who often have weak or brittle bones).
     
  • Sometimes, people react to chlordiazepoxide in a way opposite of what is usually expected. That is, they may become agitated, aggressive, and restless, and may have difficulty sleeping. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience these effects. Children may be more likely to experience these unusual reactions to chlordiazepoxide.
     
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have liver or kidney disease, as your body may not handle chlordiazepoxide as well as it should.
     
  • Chlordiazepoxide is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Librium and Pregnancy).
     
  • It is not known if chlordiazepoxide passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Librium and Breastfeeding).
     
Drink Less Alcohol

Chlordiazepoxide Hydrochloride Information

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