Mental Health Home > Librium

Librium is a drug that is approved to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. The drug works by enhancing the effects of a certain brain chemical, which causes a naturally calming effect. Librium comes in the form of a capsule and is usually taken two to four times a day. As with all medications, side effects are possible with Librium, including coordination problems, drowsiness, and confusion.

What Is Librium?

Librium® (chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride) is a prescription medication that is used to treat the following conditions:
(Click Librium Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Librium is currently made by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Several different manufacturers make generic versions of it.

How Does Librium Work?

Librium is part of a group of medicines known as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have several different effects on the body, including:
  • Stopping seizures
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Impairing short-term memory.
All benzodiazepines can have each of these effects to some degree, depending on the specific medication and the dosage. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why Librium and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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