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Alcohol Information : Chlordiazepoxide

What is Chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) is a sedative medication of the benzodiazepine class. Examples of benzodiazepines other than chlordiazepoxide include Valium (diazepam) and Mogadon (nitrazepam).

What use has chlordiazepoxide in alcoholism?

Chlordazepoxide is usually the first choice benzodiazepine to be used in alcohol detoxification. Alcohol detoxification is treated with sedative medication, such as chlordiazepoxide, as well as a number of other medications. The chlordiazepoxide is typically reduced over a number of days as the alcohol withdrawal symptoms slowly resolve. Chlordiazepoxide is usually considered preferable to other benzodiazepines in this context as it has a long duration of action and has less addictive potential than medicines such as diazepam. This is not to say that chlordiazepoxide has no addictive potential, and its use must be restricted to prescription for no longer than several weeks if dependency to chlordiazepoxide is to be avoided.

What side effects can chlordiazepoxide produce?

Hopefully, during alcohol detox, chlordiazepoxide will produce no side effects. Nevertheless all medicines have the potential to produce side effects, and chlordiazepoxide is no exception. Side effects of chlordiazepoxide include ´paradoxical´ reactions of over-stimulation and aggression, memory difficulties and difficulty with coordination. In the longer term, if continued, chlordiazepoxide may cause depression, anxiety, phobias, and in some cases confusion and hallucintations.

What dose of chlordiazepoxide should be used for alcohol detox?

Chlordiazepoxide dosages of upto 250mg daily may be prescribed in alcohol detox. More typically, doses of 120mg to 160mg chlordiazpoxide daily are prescribed as starting doses in this context. Starting doses of less than 80mg chlordiazepoxide daily may lead to unnecessary risk of development of damaging or fatal alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Typically, chlordiazepoxide is reduced in dosage at a rate of 10-20mg daily through the alcohol detox process.


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