What is chlordiazepoxide?
Chlordiazepoxide is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen) that is used to treat anxiety disorders.
Chlordiazepoxide may also be used short-term to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, or anxiety you may have before a surgery.
It may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Chlordiazepoxide can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing.
MISUSE OF CHLORDIAZEPOXIDE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use chlordiazepoxide if you are allergic to it.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- depression, a mood disorder, suicidal thoughts or actions;
- alcoholism or drug addiction; or
- liver or kidney disease.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Chlordiazepoxide may harm an unborn baby. Avoid taking chlordiazepoxide during the first trimester of pregnancy.
If you use chlordiazepoxide while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Chlordiazepoxide is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.
How should I take chlordiazepoxide?
Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Never use chlordiazepoxide in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Chlordiazepoxide is usually taken for no longer than 4 months to treat anxiety disorder. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.
Do not stop using chlordiazepoxide suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, or loss of consciousness.
What should I avoid while taking chlordiazepoxide?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how chlordiazepoxide will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Chlordiazepoxide side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Chlordiazepoxide can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have weak or shallow breathing, if you are hard to wake up, or if you stop breathing.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe drowsiness;
- unusual changes in mood or behavior;
- problems with balance or muscle movement;
- confusion, excitement, anger, or feeling restless;
- thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- fever, chills, sore throat; or
- upper stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
The sedative effects of chlordiazepoxide may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury.
Common side effects may include:
- confusion; or
- balance problems.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect chlordiazepoxide?
Taking chlordiazepoxide with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.