Is It Safe To Use Librium For Alcohol Withdrawal?

If you or someone you know suffers from alcoholism, you may be searching for the safest way to detox from alcohol. It’s important to remember that alcohol withdrawal is an incredibly difficult, tedious, and sometimes life-threatening process that should never be attempted outside of a medical setting.

Rather than detoxing at home, it’s a good idea to find a local alcohol detox facility. There, you may be prescribed a number of different medications, including Librium, for alcohol withdrawal. Librium is a benzodiazepine that can help promote relaxation and sleep among people who are detoxing from alcohol.

As a benzodiazepine, patients must be extremely careful while taking Librium for alcohol withdrawal. Librium can be habit-forming if misused or if taken for several weeks at a time.

What is Librium?

Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is a benzodiazepine medication that acts on the brain and central nervous system to produce a relaxing, calming effect. Like other benzodiazepines, Librium works by enhancing the effects of GABA in the brain and body.

Librium is commonly used to treat anxiety and acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. It may be taken between one to four times each day.

The FDA requires a Boxed Warning on Librium that describes the risk for misuse, addiction, and dependence. If abused or used for an extended period of time, Librium may be habit-forming and cause withdrawal symptoms when users try to stop taking the medication.

When a patient is ready to stop taking Librium, he or she should work with their doctor to gradually taper their dose down to discontinue use.

Why Is Librium Used For Alcohol Withdrawal?

As a benzodiazepine, Librium is an anxiolytic drug – meaning it reduces or stops anxiety. Patients who take Librium may feel relaxed, less agitated, and be able to fall asleep.

Alcohol withdrawal produces many unpleasant symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, and potential seizures. Since Librium is effective in treating these symptoms, it may be used as a taper for alcohol withdrawal.[1]

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

As the brain and body try to adjust to functioning without alcohol, withdrawal symptoms may occur. Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:[2]

  • Tremors (shakes)
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens (confusion, racing heartbeat, high blood pressure, fever, heavy sweating)

How To Take Librium While Detoxing From Alcohol: Dosage and Duration

Librium may be an option for people who are looking to safely detox from alcohol. It is also longer lasting than many other benzodiazepines, making chlordiazepoxide a preferable choice for people detoxing from alcohol.[3] However, since the medication may be habit-forming, it should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional – preferably in an inpatient detox setting.

Librium Dosage

How much Librium to take for alcohol withdrawal depends on the severity of a patient’s withdrawal symptoms. However, the dose is usually higher than what is prescribed for anxiety.

The average Librium dose for alcohol withdrawal is 5mg to 10mg every two to four hours, 1-4 times per day. In severe cases, the dosage may be increased to up to 200mg per day. Regardless of what dose a person is taking, they should be closely monitored by medical staff at an alcohol detox facility.[4]

The ultimate goal is to give patients the lowest dose possible while preventing severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Also, over the course of treatment, the dosage will gradually be lowered. This also means that patients should stop taking Librium as soon as their doctor suggests, otherwise, they may develop a dependence on the substance.

How Long You Should Take Librium

How long to take Librium for alcohol withdrawal also depends on the severity and duration of a person’s symptoms. In the most severe cases of withdrawal, patients may have seizures, hallucinations, panic attacks, and delirium tremens (DTs).

The most severe symptoms usually occur between 12 and 48 hours after a person stops drinking. Other acute symptoms may last for up to 2 weeks. As a result, patients may start taking Librium on their first day in medication-assisted alcohol detox, and they may continue taking it as a taper until their alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin to subside.

The first day that a person stops drinking is the day they may take their highest dose. After that, their dose will slowly be reduced each day throughout the stages of withdrawal. No matter the circumstance, patients should never continue taking Librium without first consulting with their doctor.

Get Help From an Alcohol Detox Center Today

If you or a loved one are looking to safely detox from alcohol, the first step is to locate an alcohol detox facility that has medical staff on-site around-the-clock. Medical detox centers also provide medications, counseling, and addiction treatment referrals.

To learn more about alcohol withdrawal or to get started on the treatment process, call now and speak with one of our addiction treatment specialists.

References:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682078.html
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/alcohol-withdrawal-a-to-z
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606320/
  4. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg115/resources/sample-chlordiazepoxide-dosing-regimens-for-use-in-managing-alcohol-withdrawal-pdf-4489950493

Medically Reviewed: February 19, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer | CWC Recovery Staff

Clinical Team

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Content on this page has been reviewed by CWC Medical Staff for accuracy.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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