Treating anxiety disorders and withdrawal symptoms due to alcoholism. It is also used to reduce fear and anxiety before undergoing surgery. It may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Librium is a benzodiazepine. It works by slowing down the movement of chemicals in the brain. This results in a reduction in nervous tension (anxiety) and muscle spasm, and also causes sedation.
Do NOT use Librium if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Librium
- you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma, severe liver disease, or a mental state where contact with reality is lost (psychosis)
- you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Librium:
Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have glaucoma or a predisposition for glaucoma, liver problems, lung problems or COPD, muscle problems, depression, suicidal tendencies, the blood disorder porphyria, or a history of drug abuse or dependence
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Librium. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following medicines.
- Rifampin because the effectiveness of Librium may be decreased
- Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole), clozapine, disulfiram, nefazodone, omeprazole, sodium oxybate (GHB), or valproic acid because side effects such as increased sedation may occur
- Clozapine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Librium may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Librium:
Use Librium as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Librium may be taken with or without food.
- Do not suddenly stop taking Librium. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you decrease your dose or suddenly stop taking it. Talk with your doctor about any changes to your dose.
- If you miss a dose of Librium and you are using it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Librium.
Important safety information:
- Librium may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Librium. Using Librium alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking Librium. Librium will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
- Use Librium with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Librium has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking Librium. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Librium during pregnancy. Librium is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Librium.
When used for long periods of time or at high doses, Librium may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if Librium stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.
Librium may be habit-forming and lead to DEPENDENCE if used in high doses or for a long period of time. If you are on long-term or high-dosage therapy, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms (eg, convulsions, tremor, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating) if you suddenly stop taking Librium. Do not stop therapy abruptly or change dosage without asking your pharmacist or doctor. Discuss overuse with your doctor or pharmacist.
Possible side effects of Librium:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Clumsiness; confusion; dizziness; excessive daytime drowsiness; headache; lack of coordination; lightheadedness; unsteadiness; unusual weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.