Reviewed on 1/19/2022

What Is Chlordiazepoxide and How Does It Work?

Chlordiazepoxide is a prescription medication used to treat Anxiety and Preoperative Apprehension and Anxiety.  

  • Chlordiazepoxide is available under the following different brand names: Librium

What Are Dosages of Chlordiazepoxide?

Adult and pediatric dosage

Capsule: Schedule IV

  • 5mg
  • 10mg
  • 25mg


Adult dosage

  • Mild/Moderate: 5-10 mg orally every 6-8 hours
  • Severe: 20-25 mg orally every 6-8 hours

Pediatric dosage

  • Children younger than 6 years of age: Safety and efficacy not established
  • Children 6 years of age: 5 mg twice or four times daily; may increase dose to 10 mg orally twice or three times daily if necessary 

Preoperative Apprehension & Anxiety

Adult dosage

  • 5-10 mg orally every 6-8 hours

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See "Dosages."

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Chlordiazepoxide?

Common side effects of Chlordiazepoxide include:

  • drowsiness, 
  • confusion, and 
  • balance problems

Serious side effects of Chlordiazepoxide include:

  • hives, 
  • difficulty breathing, 
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, 
  • weak or shallow breathing,
  • difficulty to arouse or wake up, 
  • breathing that stops, 
  • severe drowsiness, 
  • unusual changes in mood or behavior, 
  • problems with balance or muscle movement, 
  • confusion, 
  • excitement, 
  • anger, 
  • restlessness, 
  • thoughts of self-harm, 
  • fever, 
  • chills, 
  • sore throat
  • upper stomach pain, 
  • dark urine, and
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Rare side effects of Chlordiazepoxide include:

  • none 
This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What Other Drugs Interact with Chlordiazepoxide?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

  • Chlordiazepoxide has severe interactions with no other drugs.
  • Chlordiazepoxide has serious interactions with at least 20 other drugs.
  • Chlordiazepoxide has moderate interactions with at least 235 other drugs.
  • Chlordiazepoxide has minor interactions with at least 24 other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drug interactions. Therefore, before using this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Chlordiazepoxide?


  • Documented hypersensitivity to drug or component of the formulation.

Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Chlordiazepoxide?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Chlordiazepoxide?”


  • Patient should be observed for up to 3 hours following administration
  • Anterograde amnesia associated with treatment
  • Use caution in renal and hepatic impairment
  • Use caution in respiratory disease (COPD), sleep apnea, porphyria, open-angle glaucoma (questionable), depression, suicidal ideation, impaired gag reflex
  • May impair ability to perform hazardous tasks
  • Paradoxical reactions, including hyperactive or aggressive behavior, reported
  • Use caution in patients with depression, especially if suicidal risk present
  • Ataxia and oversedation may occur in the elderly and debilitated patients; there also increased risk of falls
  • Use caution in patients with history of drug abuse or acute alcoholism; tolerance, psychological and physical dependence may occur with prolonged use

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug is available during pregnancy.  Positive evidence of human fetal risk. 
  • Lactation: Enters breast milk/not recommended.
Medscape. Chlordiazepoxide.

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