Chlordiazepoxide: characteristics and side effects of this drug
Chlordiazepoxide is an anxiolytic drug with side effects to consider.
Benzodiazepines are, along with barbiturates, antidepressants and antipsychotics, one of the best known groups of psychotropic drugs.
The first benzodiazepine was synthesized in the middle of the last century. chlordiazepoxide, a drug discovered by chance by Leo Sternbach and used to treat anxiety problems, was the first benzodiazepine to be synthesized in the middle of the last century..
Thanks to the synthesis of this drug, benzodiazepines gained greater popularity over the next two decades, speeding up the treatment of anxiety disorders and other medical conditions. Let's take a look at the exciting history and uses of this drug.
What is chlordiazepoxide?
Chlordiazepoxide, originally called metaminodiazepoxide, is a drug belonging to the benzodiazepine group. a drug belonging to the benzodiazepine group, being the first substance of this type to be synthesized.. It is marketed under multiple names: Klopoxid, Libritabs, Librium, Mesural, Multum, Novapam, Risolid, Silibrin, Sonimen, Tropium and Zetran. It was patented in 1958 and approved for use in the United States as of 1960, its discovery having been pure serendipity.
Its discoverer was Leo Sternbach in the mid 50's, seeing that it had a great relaxing capacity on animals. it had a great relaxing capacity on laboratory animals.. Subsequently, new benzodiazepines were synthesized, whose popularity was on the rise until the 70's and, at the same time, laying the foundations of the problem of addiction to laboratory drugs.
Like other benzodiazepines, chlordiazepoxide is used to treat mostly anxiety-related problems, because the drug possesses amnesic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative and relaxing properties.
Mechanism of action
It is believed that chlordiazepoxide acts on GABA type A receptors, producing an inhibitory effect.receptors, producing a prolonged inhibitory effect. Thus, it blocks the increase of abnormal electrical activity in the brain from the brainstem.
It has been found to intervene on the limbic system, which could explain the emotional effects of this drug, mainly a decrease in fear and aggression.
The presentation of this drug is in the form of pills or tablets to be taken orally.. The presentations of this benzodiazepine are 5 mg, 10 mg and 25 mg. It is usually taken between one and four times a day and can be consumed with or without food. Because chlordiazepoxide can be addictive, do not take more than the dose prescribed by the practitioner.
Indications: what is it used for?
The use of chlordiazepoxide is indicated for short periods of time, between 2 and 4 weeks. As we have already indicated, it has anxiolytic and sedative properties. That is why its use is fundamentally directed to the treatment of anxietyespecially if it is so severe that it makes it difficult to lead a normal life, with high levels of distress.
Fundamentally, this drug is used for anxiety problems, insomnia and panic disorder, although it is also used in substance withdrawal, being especially useful in alcohol withdrawal syndrome and also in opiate withdrawal. Also has been shown to be useful in certain medical conditions, especially related to gastrointestinal problems.such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
As with all drugs, chlordiazepoxide may involve the appearance of a whole list of side effects, some of them due to overdosage of the drug and others due to allergies. An overdose of chlordiazepoxide is a medical emergency and requires the immediate assistance of medical personnel. immediate assistance of health care personnel. The antidote used to treat this overdose is flumazenil, which is a benzodiazepine antagonist.
Among the most common adverse effects of lesser clinical concern are:
- Muscle weakness.
- Dry mouth.
- stomach discomfort
- changes in appetite
In case you are under treatment with this drug, you should call the prescribing physician or psychiatrist. in case of any of the following symptoms:
- Agitation or motor excitement.
- Problems urinating: either by difficulty or frequent urination.
- blurred vision
- Changes in sexual desire.
Among among the most serious side effectswhich will require seeing a health care professional as soon as possible, include:
- Shuffling gait.
- Balance disorders.
- Coordination disorders.
- breathing and swallowing problems
- Jaundice of the skin or eyes.
- Irregular heart rhythm.
- emotional dullness
- Reduced alertness.
The use of this drug should be avoided in those who People who suffer from one or more of the following medical problems:
- Myasthenia gravis.
- Acute intoxication by alcohol, narcotics or other psychoactive substances.
- Severe hypoventilation.
- Hepatic cirrhosis.
- Severe sleep apnea.
- Hypersensitivity/allergy to benzodiazepines.
Precautions for use
Treatment with chlordiazepoxide should not exceed four weeks of administrationThere is a high risk that tolerance and dependence may be generated.
Benzodiazepines should not be discontinued abruptly, since this type of drug, compared to other drugs, is twice as likely to cause, after discontinuation, a recurrence of the treated symptoms. Also withdrawal syndrome, characterized by the appearance of irritability, drowsiness and anxiety, can also occur..
It should be noted that chlordiazepoxide has interactions with other substances: vitamins, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, antihistamines, depression medications, anticonvulsants, antiparkinsonians, Asthma remedies, muscle relaxants, oral contraceptives, sleeping pills, cimetidine, digoxin, disulfiram, fluoxetine, isoniazid, ketoconazole, levodopa, metropolol, propranolol, rifampicin, theophylline, valproic acid and alcohol, enhancing their depressant effect on the central nervous system.
In case of having suffered glaucoma, renal, cardiac or hepatic insufficiency, the physician/psychiatrist should be informed so that other more adequate treatment options can be considered. In case there is no other option, it is recommended that daily doses be between 5 and 10 mg.
Not recommended for use during pregnancy and lactation.. Administered late in gestation, it can produce the appearance of hypothermia, hypotonia and respiratory depression in the baby. Chlordiazepoxide can be secreted through breast milk.
It should be noted that research on the effects of this drug during pregnancy is limited, so chlordiazepoxide should only be taken if the benefits outweigh the risks. Although there are those who point out that this drug, together with diazepam, is one of the safest benzodiazepines to be used in pregnant women, there are multiple risks: miscarriage, malformations, developmental delay, cancer, mutations and functional deficits.
Due to its sedative effects, it is not recommended to operate heavy machinery or drive any vehicle after consumption of this drug. There may be a decrease in reaction, which may contribute to a traffic accident.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)