Mental Health Home > Librium Warnings and Precautions

Some Librium warnings and precautions to be aware of before taking the medication include potential drug interactions, the safety of taking Librium if you are pregnant or are elderly, and the possible risk of becoming dependent on the drug. Among the conditions that you should tell your healthcare provider about prior to taking Librium are depression, liver or kidney disease, and a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Librium: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Librium® (chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride) if you have:
  • Depression
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse (see Librium and Alcohol)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Librium Warnings and Precautions

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Librium include the following:
  • Librium is a controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to be abused. There are special rules and regulations for prescribing and dispensing Librium. Librium is generally not recommended for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Librium Addiction).
  • Like all benzodiazepines, Librium can cause psychological and physical dependence. The risk of abuse and dependence is greater for those taking high Librium doses for long periods of time (more than a few weeks). Because Librium can cause dependence, you should not stop taking Librium suddenly without first discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Librium Withdrawal).
  • Librium can cause severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing, which may be life threatening. This risk is increased when Librium is combined with alcohol, narcotics, or other medications or substances that cause drowsiness and sedation (see Librium Drug Interactions for more information). You should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Librium will affect you.
  • Librium may cause depression and can make preexisting depression worse. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you are depressed or have a history of depression before taking Librium.
  • Elderly people are more sensitive to the effects of Librium and may need to start the medication at a low dosage. Librium may increase the risk of falling, which is especially dangerous in elderly people (who often have weak or brittle bones).
  • Sometimes, people react to Librium in a way opposite of what is usually expected. That is, they may become agitated, aggressive, and restless, and may have difficulty sleeping. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience these effects. Children may be more likely to experience these unusual reactions to Librium.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have liver or kidney disease, as your body may not handle Librium as well as it should.
  • Librium is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Librium and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if Librium passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Librium and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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