Description: Chlordiazepoxide increases the activity of a natural substance in the nervous system that relaxes the body by letting chloride ions permeate easily into neurons. It has some muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant activity.


Absorption: Almost complete (oral); peak plasma concentrations after 1-2 hrs.

Distribution: Crosses the placenta, diffuses into CSF, enters breast milk. Protein-binding: 96%

Metabolism: Hepatic; converted to desmethyldiazepam.

Excretion: Urine (as unchanged drug and metabolites; faeces (conjugated metabolites); 5-30 hrs (elimination half-life).

Chlordiazepoxide, a benzodiazepine, treats anxiety, fear before surgery, and acute alcohol withdrawal. It enhances the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA) that acts on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect.

How to use 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.

Notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects persist or worsen:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • blurred vision
  • headache

Tell your doctor immediately 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
  • 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.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Consult your doctor regarding these precautions:

  • Allergic reaction to this medication.
  • Patients with medical history of:
  1. liver disease
  2. kidney disease
  3. lung/breathing problems (e.g., COPD, sleep apnea)
  4. blood disorder (porphyria)
  5. drug or alcohol abuse
  • 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.
  • Older adults may be more sensitive to drowsiness.
  • This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
  • Breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended.



This drug should not be used with sodium oxybate because a very serious interaction may occur.

If you are currently using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting chlordiazepoxide.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • Antacids
  • cimetidine
  • clozapine
  • digoxin
  • disulfiram
  • kava
  • certain anti-depressants (e.g., fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone)

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as:

  • antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine)
  • anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine)
  • medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives)
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine)
  • psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine, or tricyclics such as amitriptyline)
  • tranquilizers

Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients.

This product can affect the results of certain lab tests.

Smoking can decrease the effectiveness of this drug (through liver enzyme induction).

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.


If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include seizures.


Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law.

If this drug is used for an extended period of time, laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function tests, complete blood count) may be performed periodically to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.


There are no brands containing this molecule.

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