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Any Librium Experiences?

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Hi all.


I am currently on Xanax (which I take to prevent panic attacks, as I have panic disorder).  It does help me, but the medication doesn't stay in the body "consistently" so I get breakthrough anxiety symptoms at times, which can sometimes be distressing.


The longer acting benzos that I was aware of (Valium and Klonopin) didn't work out for me.


I was looking into other meds and Librium (chlordiazepoxide) was suggested in chat, so I'd like to ask, has anyone ever taken Librium (either as their first benzo or switching from another one)?  If so, what was the dosage/frequency?  Any side effects?  Any other pertinent information I should know about?


Thanks for all replies,

~ Andy

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I had to take Librium when I was in the hospital because i had been severely abusing xanax (though I suppose people do a hell of a lot worse than what I did, but that doesn't matter) and was going through mega withdrawal. It helped slow my heart rate and let me sleep because I hadn't slept in a few days. I didn't notice any other side effects but I had a lot going on.

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I guess I don't understand how one benzo could not work but yet another one could. Benzos are pretty cut and dry compared to AD's, AAP's and AC's.Yes, some are much faster acting than others, some have longer half lifes and other are more potent in that you can take less milligrams. But every single one of them all work on the same GABA receptors.  If you already found out that the two long acting ones you've already tried don't work for you I don't see how another long acting will work better.


I guess I look at it like Whiskey, wine, and beer. They are all different but they all are basically the same and do the same thing in the end. Saying valium wouldn't work for you but Librium would be like saying I cant get drunk off 80 proof vodka but 80 proof whiskey does the trick. If I'm totally off base here please feel free to educate me. :)

Edited by quiet storm
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I have Klonopin Rage (a paradoxical effect), but do well on Xanax. My husband uses ativan (2mg pill, so quite a whomp) for seizures, and 1mg clonezapam at bedtime, to try to raise his seizure threshold. Occasionally, when my head is really exploding, I will take one of DH's ativan, and it helps incredibly. Both my pdoc and my pain doctor know I use it occasionally, and are fine with it.


Different benzos are used for different symptoms. You can't say a benzo is a benzo is a benzo, because it just isn't true.


I know librium used to be used a lot, then kind of fell out of favor, and I am not sure why. There were definitely a shitload of housewives dependent on it in the 70s and early 80s, but I am under the impression that was done by GPs, who had no idea what they were doing. I know some people on here have used it, but it doesn't seem to be in fashion. That doesn't mean you shouldn't ask.

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Librium used to work really well for me; I first tried it as somewhat illicit self-medication, and it worked a treat. My first legitimate encounter with it was as a replacement for my old Valium after my pdoc suspected that I was becoming addicted - I'd do outrageous things on purpose to get some p.r.n. vals at the psych unit. After about ten months' use, though, I think I'm completely habituated to it. My official dose is 5mg, but I've had experiences with 25mg having no effect on general unrest and panicking.

I still remember the good old days, though, and I wouldn't hesitate to suggest it to anyone. Librium is a great med, if used properly, and, if only it had stayed potent for me, would be my favourite of all psychiatric meds. It's so gradual and mellow.

Edited by Ophelie
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Only had Librium in IP. And I like it because it lasts like forever.....It doesn't make me drowsy but takes away my anxiety. Klonopin just makes me depressed even tho I don't take the full amount. Just half..... It is kinda iffy if a doc will prescribe Librium since the more mainstream benzo's are used now a days. But if your doc is willing go for it.

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  • 4 months later...

(a great deal of the therapeutic effect provided by chlodiazepoxide is due to diazepam; Librium was the first benzo, then Valium, a major metabolite of the former, was marketed and Librium fell into the shadows...)


This doesn't mean that Librium will not help because Valium does not help. Librium is not Valium, it is Librium.

An interesting drug. A trusty drug, I happen to love it. Whenever I titrate down to lower doses of alprazolam ['round 2-3 QD] I often start to 'detox' and ask my psych for Librium. 25mg QID would probably be too much for you if you take alprazolam 2mg QD, [the equivalency charts don't always work...not with Librium and Xanax in the below-4mg range anyway].

Another thing to consider is that Librium is not exactly intended to calm the symptoms of panic disorder, let alone obliterate them. It's a deceptively potent drug because you don't really 'feel' it in your system - you might feel drunk or 'off' on a high dose but an hour's nap will do the trick. Do not mix with alcohol, obviously, and it's closer to Valium than, say, Tranxene - in my opinion. Also, there are no withdrawal symptoms unless you really want to try to get withdrawal and stop a month of 100mg daily abruptly switching to 0. You might have convulsions.


Otherwise, the unique features;

it's not addictive [less addictive than Tranxene in my opinion, also less addictive than oxazepam (Serax it was I believe)].

It has a mildly 'tranquilizing' effect at steady state. This means it will 'take the edge' off stimulants a bit.

It is a little bit anticholinergic..a tiny bit. [found in combo preparations with mebeverine or clidinium for IBS, etc] In very high doses in the inpatient setting it actually IS sometimes still used in lieu of an AP, or alonside [more often the latter] in quite high doses.

It has a tedency to put you in a funk. This has to do with a tendency for serotonin depletion and applies to months of 25mg QID dosing. If you are on an SRI, this would not happen. It probably would not happen without an SRI either, but it's been known to, and it has to me.

It's excellent for essential tremor or tremor due to side effects from other drugs....should that be an issue.

It's quite similar to propranolol for attenuating somatic symptoms of anxiety in social situations [a bit better than propranolol perhaps]

It's easy to OD on - 25mg QID might feel like nothing, change the regimen to 4 capsules twice daily and you'll be passing out left and right without realizing what's going on. Taking a 'few more' capsules than you're used to will render you unable to speak for a few hours,  let alone coordinate movement enough to get up and walk somewhere.

Lastly; it will not work like XANAX, doubling the dose will merely make you drunk(er) and as much as I love Librium, for panic attacks, it is fine as a maintenance medication  and I recommend it always...but for breakthrough anxiety, you're better off with a rapid onset benzodiazepine, the obvious candidate being Valium [is there anything more rapid?]. You should try Valium again, honestly, at a higher dose, Don't  expect to 'feel' much from it but if your anxiety is so crippliing and your panic so severe, a single 20 mg dose is sometimes used (very) PRN, and the benefit there is super rapid onset. Do what you want with alprazolam, keep it in your system at stable concentration, it is not the pill to 'pop' for the descending horror that is a panic attack. For that you need to go up with Xanax which is a bad idea, or maintain a small antipanic agent dose [clonazepam 0.25mg q12h for a few weeks minimum, even though you claim it didnt help you, I doubt you ever took it at this dose? for that duration?] and use dizepam PRN for the hurricane. It works quite instantly...I don't think anyone is going to deny this. It's not an antipanic agent, but its a very potent anxiolytic and the therapeutic effect is felt within 90 seconds quite often, if not, then 5 minutes, so be it.



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So for steady state, you use alprazolam. But for a fast acting benzo, use Xanax.


Are you aware that alprazolam is generic Xanax, i.e. the same thing?


"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit." W.C. Fields


Clonezapam is a funny med to choose for fast acting effects.


Please do not suggest dosages and schedules of medications on Crazyboards. You may of course discuss *your personal experience* with amounts and schedules. But we do not give out general medical advice, because it is practicing medicine. Which is illegal, and could get the site into trouble. Also your descriptions of effects (it will make you feel drunker, for instance), are side effects that *you* experience, you have no clue what side effects other people will have.


Oh, I see you haven't mentioned ativan. Could you please vomit a page-full of questionable advice for it, as well?


A tip: Many members here have trouble with concentration, either because of their illnesses, or because of their medications. Blocks of words are difficult to read. I know that members often skip entire posts because they are one long blob that is too long for them to decipher. I see that you made a passing effort to use paragraphs here, but *real* paragraphs are spaced. And that final paragraph would need to be broken up as well.



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