Dangers Of Librium Overdose

If Librium taken in higher doses than prescribed or used with other substances, it may cause dangerous and potentially fatal overdose symptoms.

Chlordiazepoxide, sold under the brand name Librium, is a benzodiazepine drug prescribed for short-term treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia, and agitation related to acute alcohol withdrawal.

Like other benzodiazepine drugs, Librium has the potential to be abused. And, if taken in higher doses than prescribed or used with other substances, it may cause dangerous and potentially fatal overdose symptoms.

Understanding Chlordiazepoxide Overdose

As a benzodiazepine, Librium works by interacting with the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, increasing its effects and promoting a general slow-down across the central nervous system.

While these depressant effects of Librium are helpful for managing agitation, anxiety, panic attacks, or seizures over short periods of time, they can become dangerous when the drug is taken in excess.

Therefore, a Librium overdose is considered to be any overly large dose of Librium that causes harmful or toxic effects. These may range from uncomfortable physical or mental changes to life-threatening medical emergencies.

Physical Librium Overdose Signs & Symptoms

Physical symptoms of a Librium overdose can include:

  • abdominal pain or cramping
  • nausea
  • gasping or gurgling
  • slow or shallow breathing
  • difficulty urinating
  • double or blurred vision
  • rapid side-to-side eye movements
  • rapid, irregular, or weak heartbeats
  • slow heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • low body temperature
  • blue color in lips or fingertips

Mental/Behavioral Librium Overdose Signs & Symptoms

Mental or behavioral signs of a Librium overdose can include:

  • unusual drowsiness
  • confusion
  • mood changes or depression
  • dizziness
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • memory loss
  • seizures or tremors
  • unresponsiveness
  • loss of consciousness

Risk Factors For Librium Overdose

There are certain risk factors that increase a person’s risk of experiencing overdose effects when using or misusing Librium.

These include:

  • taking Librium that was not prescribed to you
  • being 65+ years old, as older adults are generally less able to
  • metabolize drugs and clear them from the body
  • having poor liver or kidney function
  • experiencing a change in tolerance to the drug, which can occur after
  • a relapse or other period of discontinuation
  • being in poor overall health
  • developing a Librium addiction

Librium Drug Interactions

While benzodiazepine overdoses are dangerous, they are rarely fatal on their own. However, Librium and other benzodiazepines are known to intensify the effects (including the euphoric effects) of other CNS depressant substances, often with dangerous or deadly results.

Examples of CNS depressant substances that should not be taken with Librium, even at therapeutic doses, include:

Treatment For Librium Overdose

Once medical help arrives and takes over, they will evaluate the victim and their vital signs including temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and breathing.

Treatment will likely focus on the symptoms of the overdose, with interventions potentially including:

  • blood or urine testing
  • oxygen supply
  • intravenous fluids
  • laxatives
  • chest x-rays
  • CT-scans
  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • life-support measures

In addition, healthcare providers may use the medication flumazenil,benzodiazepine antagonist that can completely or partially reverse the effects of benzodiazepine medications.

However, flumazenil is only used with caution, as it can trigger severe withdrawal symptoms in those who are dependent on benzodiazepine drugs.

Librium Overdose Outlook

With proper and timely care, those who experience a Librium overdose are likely to make a full recovery.

However, if the overdose results in aplastic anemia (reduced red blood cell production in the bone marrow), respiratory depression, or seizures, some effects from the overdose may be permanent, leading to lasting medical conditions or disability.

Treatment For Librium Addiction

Because drug overdoses are so closely tied to substance abuse and drug addiction/substance use disorder, one of the best ways to avoid drug overdose is to seek an effective, professional addiction treatment program.

Treatment for a benzodiazepine use disorder typically begins with tapering, a form of detox that slowly reduces a participant’s daily dosage to avoid severe or dangerous withdrawal effects.

Common Librium withdrawal symptoms that may occur during this process include:

  • cravings
  • sweating
  • increased heart rate
  • elevated blood pressure
  • loss of appetite
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • sleep difficulties

Once detox is completed, treatment options for benzodiazepine addiction recovery may include inpatient or outpatient treatment, counseling, behavioral therapy, antidepressant medications, peer support groups, and aftercare support.

If you or a loved one struggle with prescription drug abuse, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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