Chlordiazepoxide

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Generic Name: Chlordiazepoxide Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Chlordiazepoxide used for?

Chlordiazepoxide is commonly used to treat anxiety and acute alcohol withdrawal. It is also used to relieve fear and anxiety before surgery. This medication belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. It works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).

How should I take Chlordiazepoxide?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment.

Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed because this drug can be habit-forming. Also, if used for an extended period of time, do not suddenly stop using this drug without your doctor’s approval. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased to avoid side effects such as seizures.

When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

How do I store Chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Chlordiazepoxide in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Chlordiazepoxide that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Chlordiazepoxide down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Chlordiazepoxide?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, lung/breathing problems (e.g., COPD, sleep apnea), blood disorder (porphyria), drug or alcohol abuse.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness. Drowsiness can increase the risk of falling.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the potential for harm to an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor right away. Consult your doctor for more details.

Based on information from related drugs, this drug may pass into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Chlordiazepoxide during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this Chlordiazepoxide. This Chlordiazepoxide is pregnancy risk category N according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Chlordiazepoxide?

Drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, blurred vision, or headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes, slurred speech, clumsiness, trouble walking, decreased/increased interest in sex, tremor, uncontrollable movements, facial or muscle twitching, trouble urinating, sleep disturbances.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: fainting, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea, vomiting, fatigue, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, persistent sore throat or fever.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Chlordiazepoxide?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: antacids, certain anti-depressants (e.g., fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone), cimetidine, clozapine, digoxin, disulfiram, kava, sodium oxybate.

The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is taken with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana, other drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

This product can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug.

Smoking can decrease the effectiveness of this drug (through liver enzyme induction). Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have recently stopped smoking because your dose may need to be adjusted.

Chlordiazepoxide may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Chlordiazepoxide?

Chlordiazepoxide may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Chlordiazepoxide.

What is the dose of Chlordiazepoxide for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety

Mild to moderate anxiety: 5 or 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day
Severe anxiety: 20 or 25 mg orally 3 or 4 times a day
Comments:
-Doses should be individualized to provide maximum beneficial effects.
-Efficacy of long-term management in patients with anxiety (e.g., greater than 4 months) has not been established.
Uses:
-Relief of mild, moderate, and severe anxiety disorders
-Management of anxiety disorders
-Short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety

Usual Adult Dose for Light Sedation

On days preceding surgery: 5 to 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times per day
If used as preoperative medication: 50 to 100 mg IM once 1 hour before surgery
Use: Preoperative apprehension and anxiety

Usual Adult Dose for Alcohol Withdrawal

50 to 100 mg orally, followed by repeated doses as needed until agitation is controlled
-Maximum dose: 300 mg orally per day
Comments:
-Parenteral formulations are usually used for the relief of withdrawal symptoms of acute alcoholism.
-After agitation is controlled, the dosage should be reduced to maintenance levels.
Use: Withdrawal symptoms of acute alcoholism

Usual Geriatric Dose for Anxiety

5 mg orally 2 to 4 times a day
Comments:
-Initial doses should be kept to 10 mg/day or less to decrease the risk of ataxia or oversedation.
-Doses should be individualized to provide maximum beneficial effects.
-Efficacy of long-term management in patients with anxiety (e.g., greater than 4 months) has not been established.
Uses:
-Relief of mild, moderate, and severe anxiety disorders
-Management of anxiety disorders
-Short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety

Renal Dose Adjustments

Renal dysfunction: Use with caution

Liver Dose Adjustments

Liver dysfunction: Use with caution

Dose Adjustments

In the presence of debilitating disease: 5 mg orally 2 to 4 times a day
Comment: Initial doses should be kept to 10 mg/day or less to decrease the risk of ataxia or oversedation.
Uses:
-Relief of mild, moderate, and severe anxiety disorders
-Management of anxiety disorders
-Short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety
Patients who develop drowsiness, ataxia, or confusion: Dose adjustments should be considered.

Other Comments

Administration advice:
-Capsules should be taken with water and not be chewed.

Storage requirements:
-Protect from light.

General:
-Doses should be determined by patient response and clinical diagnosis.
-Anxiety/tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.
-Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for continued treatment, especially when they are symptom-free.
-Concomitant use with other psychotropic agents is generally not recommended; if necessary, the pharmacology of the agents should be considered prior to administration.

Monitoring:
-General: Patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or patients with a marked personality disorder should be monitored frequently.
-Hematologic: Periodic blood counts
-Hepatic: Periodic liver function tests
-Psychiatric: Signs/symptoms of dependence

Patient advice:
-Patients should be cautioned against performing activities requiring complete mental alertness, such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle.
-Patients should be advised to avoid abrupt discontinuation of treatment; patients should be educated regarding the risks of tolerance, dependence, and rebound phenomena.
-Patients and caregivers of those who are taking concomitant opioid therapy should be told to immediately report profound central nervous system or respiratory depression.
-Patients should be told to avoid drinking alcohol or taking other drugs that may cause sleepiness or dizziness while taking this drug until they talk to their healthcare provider.
-If this drug is prescribed to a woman of childbearing potential, she should be warned to contact her physician regarding discontinuation if she intends to become pregnant or is pregnant.

What is the dose of Chlordiazepoxide for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anxiety

6 years and older: 5 mg orally 2 to 4 times a day
-This may be increased to 10 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day

Comments:
-Doses should be individualized to provide maximum beneficial effects.
-Efficacy of long-term management in patients with anxiety (e.g., greater than 4 months) has not been established.

Uses:
-Relief of mild, moderate, and severe anxiety disorders
-Management of anxiety disorders
-Short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety

How is Chlordiazepoxide available?

Chlordiazepoxide is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral capsule
  • Oral tablet
  • Injectable powder for injection

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Chlordiazepoxide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 15, 2018 | Last Modified: January 16, 2018

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