Alcohol Detox With Librium

Coming to terms with an alcohol addiction is no easy feat. Detoxifying your body and going through withdrawal are difficult steps that can be made easier with medical intervention. Prescription Librium can be given to patient to help ease symptoms connected with abruptly stopping alcohol use.

The Facts

Librium (chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride) comes in capsule form and is taken orally according to your prescribing doctor's instructions. The medication works by boosting your brain's natural calming agent GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA enables certain signals in the brain to either slow or stop, creating a tranquillising, sedating effect. It's classified as a benzodiazepine and helps to reduce anxiety, halt seizures, relax muscles and create a sleepy or drowsy feeling. Because of these effects, Librium can be helpful in controlling some of the symptoms associated with withdrawal from alcohol.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol detoxification and withdrawal symptoms can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening depending on the severity of your alcohol dependence. Symptoms of withdrawal can be mild such as slight shakiness, depression, clamminess, nervousness and cravings. More serious symptoms include nausea, vomiting, tachycardia (rapid heart beat), seizures and DTs (or delirium tremens, which include hallucinations, agitation and confusion). Librium can be prescribed for short-term treatment to assist patients with withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, agitation and DTs.


The use of Librium in elderly or disabled patients should be carefully monitored. The dosage should be maintained at the smallest amount possible to avoid over-sedating the patient. Some patients have reported opposite reactions to the medication including intense rage, stimulation and excitement. If you have a known hypersensitivity to Chlordiazepoxide HCl, you should not take Librium. Be sure to tell your doctor prior to beginning treatment if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant as Librium should be avoided during pregnancy.

Negative Reactions

Unfavourable reactions while taking Librium include constipation, nausea, confusion, drowsiness, skin eruptions, swelling, menstrual irregularities, changes in libido and occasionally jaundice or liver dysfunction. You should be aware that Librium may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. Using with similar medications or while drinking alcohol could depress the central nervous system. Librium is classified as a controlled substance and could pose a risk of becoming addictive. It is generally prescribed for short-term treatment only.


If you drink alcohol while taking Librium, you will be at increased risk of side effects such as slowing of your breathing and heart rate, passing out, hypotension (low blood pressure), drowsiness, dizziness, unusual thoughts or behaviour, trouble with memory and problems with coordination. If you are taking Librium to help you through the withdrawal process, you should not be drinking alcohol.

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About the Author

Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.