Chlordiazepoxide

General

Pronunciation:
(klor dye az e pox' ide)

Brand names:

  • A-poxide®
  • Chlordiazachel®
  • H-Tran®
  • Librelease®
  • Libritabs®
  • Librium®
  • Lygen®
  • Mitran®
  • Poxi®
  • Librax® (as a combination product containing Clidinium, Chlordiazepoxide)
  • Limbitrol® (as a combination product containing Amitriptyline, Chlordiazepoxide)
  • Menrium® (as a combination product containing Chlordiazepoxide, Esterified Estrogens)

Important Warning

Chlordiazepoxide may increase the risk of serious or life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma if used along with certain medications. Tell your doctor if you are taking or plan to take certain opiate medications for cough such as codeine (in Triacin-C, in Tuzistra XR) or hydrocodone (in Anexsia, in Norco, in Zyfrel) or for pain such as codeine (in Fiorinal), fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Subsys, others), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), morphine (Astramorph, Duramorph PF, Kadian), oxycodone (in Oxycet, in Percocet, in Roxicet, others), and tramadol (Conzip, Ultram, in Ultracet). Your doctor may need to change the dosages of your medications and will monitor you carefully. If you take chlordiazepoxide with any of these medications and you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care immediately: unusual dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slowed or difficult breathing, or unresponsiveness. Be sure that your caregiver or family members know which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor or emergency medical care if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

Drinking alcohol or using street drugs during your treatment with chlordiazepoxide also increases the risk that you will experience these serious, life-threatening side effects. Do not drink alcohol or use street drugs during your treatment.

Why Prescribed

Chlordiazepoxide is used to relieve anxiety and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. Chlordiazepoxide is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

How to Use

Chlordiazepoxide comes as a tablet and capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken one to four times a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take chlordiazepoxide exactly as directed.

Chlordiazepoxide can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you to. Tolerance may develop with long-term or excessive use, making the medication less effective. This medication must be taken regularly to be effective. Do not skip doses even if you feel that you do not need them. Do not take chlordiazepoxide for more than 4 months or stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. Stopping the medication suddenly can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiousness, sleeplessness, and irritability). Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually.

Other Uses

Chlordiazepoxide is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Special Precautions

Before taking chlordiazepoxide,

Hypersensitivity

tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to chlordiazepoxide, alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Gen-Xene, Tranxene), diazepam (Diastat, Valium), estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam, temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in tablets and capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.

Drug Interaction

tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antihistamines; cimetidine (Tagamet); digoxin (Lanoxin); disulfiram (Antabuse); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra); isoniazid (Laniazid, in Rifamate, in Rifater); ketoconazole (Nizoral); levodopa (in Ritary, in Sinemet, in Stalevo); medications for depression, seizures, Parkinson's disease, asthma, colds, or allergies; metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL, others); muscle relaxants; oral contraceptives; probenecid (Probalan, in Col-Probenecid); propranolol (Inderal, Innopran); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater); sedatives; sleeping pills; theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo 24, Theochron); tranquilizers; and valproic acid (Depakene). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.

Precautions and Contraindications

tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma; seizures; or lung, heart, or liver disease.

Pregnancy, Fertility, Lactation

tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking chlordiazepoxide, call your doctor immediately.

Geriatric Precaution

talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking chlordiazepoxide if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take chlordiazepoxide because it is not as safe or effective as other medication(s) that can be used to treat the same condition.

Surgery Precautions

if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking chlordiazepoxide.

Drowsiness Precautions

you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Tobacco Precaution

tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.

Forgot a Dose

If you take several doses per day and miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Chlordiazepoxide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • changes in appetite

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • restlessness or excitement
  • constipation
  • difficulty urinating
  • frequent urination
  • blurred vision
  • changes in sex drive or ability

Severe Side Effects

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • shuffling walk
  • persistent, fine tremor or inability to sit still
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • severe skin rash
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • irregular heartbeat

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Storage Considerations

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

Emergency Overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Additional Information

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Chlordiazepoxide can cause false results when using the Gravindex pregnancy test.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.

Copyright

This report on medications is for your information only, and is not considered individual patient advice. Because of the changing nature of drug information, please consult your physician or pharmacist about specific clinical use.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. represents that the information provided hereunder was formulated with a reasonable standard of care, and in conformity with professional standards in the field. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to such information and specifically disclaims all such warranties. Users are advised that decisions regarding drug therapy are complex medical decisions requiring the independent, informed decision of an appropriate health care professional, and the information is provided for informational purposes only. The entire monograph for a drug should be reviewed for a thorough understanding of the drug's actions, uses and side effects. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. does not endorse or recommend the use of any drug. The information is not a substitute for medical care.

AHFS® Patient Medication Information. © Copyright, 2017. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Selected Revisions: April 15, 2017.

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