Anxiety Home > What Is Chlordiazepoxide Used For?

Although chlordiazepoxide is approved to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal, it can also be prescribed off-label to treat insomnia. By enhancing the effects of a certain chemical in the brain, chlordiazepoxide causes a calming effect, which reduces anxiety, relaxes the muscles, and causes sleepiness. The medication has also been approved for use in children as young as six years old.

What Is Chlordiazepoxide Used For?

Chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (Librium®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat the following conditions:
 
Chlordiazepoxide belongs to a group of medications known as benzodiazepines.
 

Chlordiazepoxide and Alcohol Withdrawal

Quitting alcohol "cold turkey" is not always a good idea. In fact, it can be quite dangerous. People who drink heavily or frequently may experience symptoms of alcohol withdrawal if they stop drinking alcohol too quickly. Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms include slight shakiness (the "shakes"), alcohol cravings, nervousness, depression, or clammy skin. More severe symptoms include:
 
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (sometimes called "DTs"), a group of symptoms including confusion, agitation, and hallucinations
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • A very rapid heart rate (tachycardia).
     
Withdrawing from alcohol can be life threatening. It should always be done under a healthcare provider's supervision, and hospitalization is sometimes necessary. Chlordiazepoxide can help with agitation, shakiness, and delirium tremens associated with an alcohol withdrawal. Chlordiazepoxide is intended to be used temporarily to help people get through the initial period of withdrawal; it should not be taken for this use for long periods of time.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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