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Librium Withdrawal
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Librium Withdrawal

My mother is 76 yrs. old, and has been taking Librium 10mg. for 7 yrs. off and on ever since my father died. She took only one pill a day and some days didn't take any. Once in a great while she would take two.
About a week ago, she decided to quit taking the librium. We don't know why. Anyway, she tried to take another librium after 5 days, and she said it hurt her. She was getting in bad shape,I took her to and emergency clinic. Her blood pressure went over 200 on top. The Dr. there told her to go ahead and take a librium while she was there. She took it and when she saw it wouldn't hurt her, her blood pressure went down.
Her regular Dr. the next day gave her Pamine for stomach cramps, which help her sleep, and told her to go ahead and take the librium.
Sometimes she's fine when taking the librium, other times she says it's going against her body. We have been staying with her since, but can't do this much longer, because of work.

My question is, is the librium really going against her sometimes and not others, or is it her imagination? She gets really anxious at these times.

Also, when do you think it would be safe to leave her at night?
She won't let me ask her Dr. if the librium is going against her for fear he will take her off it completely, or put her in a hospital.
Please, please answer as I don't know what to do.This morning she says she feels better.

                                 Thank you so much,
                                 Sophia
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
This is not meant to sound rude but, Why is a 76 year old women on Librium anyway?  I don't know anything about it, I'm sure somebody on here has experienced it though.  Good Luck
Chad
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with JB, Dr. Steve is the best one to answer this question but I can share with you the little bit if info I remember about this drug.  Librium is a Benzodiazapene, which is a drug classification.  First of all Benzos should not be stopped abruptly. and being that it is a tranquilizer It will have a direct effect of Blood pressure.  also, If I remember correctly (it's been 6 years since I practiced nursing) Librium should not be taken with some food, I believe it may be grapefruit.PLEASE take into consideration Gram's age as well.  Also there are various drug interactions to take into consideration.  Spook, Tom or Maria might be able to shed some light on this subject.   Take care  cindi
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Avatar_n_tn
My father used to take Librium for hypertension years ago.  I believe that Librium predates drugs like Valium and the like(benzos).  The only time I've had Librium was when I was in detox for alcohol for several days.  Anyway, maybe Dr. Steve can shed some light on this.  J.B.
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Avatar_n_tn
As one ages their livers capacity to metabolize drugs is greatly diminished,as a consequence a dose of 10mg could be like a dose of 50 mg to a 30 year old,the half life of Librium ranges from 5 to 30 hours,so it is possible it is accumulating,regardless,she should not miss doses,she is on a TINY dose really,but with age and possible rapid metabolism,could(almost definately) just be demonstrating Withdrawal symptoms,everything else is another Psychiatric development,Its difficult to know what to do ,but I suggest a liver function test and plasma level test done to see what her levels of Librium(Chlordiazepoxide) are.Use `Steady` `regular` dosage of her Librium to stabilize her,it is probably not wise to try to get her to discontinue it at her age after 7 years of use,she is very Physically dependent on it now,and may need to stay on for life.Try 5mg twice daily,instead of 10mg when she feels like it.good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I just wanted to thank all of you who took the time to write. It has helped a lot just to share and get your opinions.
The 5 mg. dose twice a day sounds about right.

My sister stayed with her last night, and while I went to church but had to go home (60 miles away). When she found out my sister was going home, and I wouldn't be there for awhile, she seemed to have the reaction to the medicine. Since I'm not a Dr. or a psychiatrist I don't know if it's the med. or not.
I am going to take her to Dr. tomorrow morning but I'm afraid she may not believe him even.
The librium seems to have the worst effect on her when she has an empty stomach. She has only been eating jello and popsicles.
Also some peanut butter crackers.
She is afraid to take the medicine and afraid not to. The Pamine is helping her stomach and also helping her sleep.

Again, thank you for your comments, they were very helpful.

                      
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Avatar_n_tn
After she has stabilized on 5mg bid she should be fine.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Chad: last time I checked, you were in your twenties, right? You will find as you leave that blessed decade of life behind that your ability to handle stress, anxiety and the depression of knowing your best years, from virtually every perspective, are behind you decreases to the point of emotional paralysis, real as well as psychosomatic illnesses, suicidal (and perhaps homicidal) fantasies. This 76-year old lady is on Librium because it acts as an emotional painkiller -- something you probably can't imagine ever needing.

Even though Librium is one of the older benzos, I've been on it for limited periods in my thirties and forties (in other words, whenever I could talk the doctor out of some --- but then you already knew that). I first tried Valium, Xanax and Ativan, and found that, while they all worked on anxiety, etc. they all put me under the table, as it were, which made them rather impractical to use at work. Librium, however, was different. I was even taking a fairly high dosage (I don't remember what it was, but it was the biggest dosage capsule you could get - I think it was the 25 MG caps), and while it did just as good a job at stabilizing me emotionally, I rarely had a problem with drowsiness from it. The benzo I prefer over Librium is Klonopin, but that's getting harder and harder to get. It seems to have a long half-life and gives one a smooth, heroin-like (I'm told, anyway) ride. Consequently, it's getting the old "street rep," making it harder for pure, high-minded gentleman such as myself to get my filthy, drug-fiend paws on it.

What I really wanted to say was that benzos can be ultra-dangerous to abruptly discontinue after you've been on them for even a few months. In 1994, during the Christmas holidays, I ran out of my Ativan, something I was taking for a few months following disk surgery. I knew nothing about benzo withdrawal seizures, didn't think I really needed to be on the drug any longer, and didn't want to bother my doctor over Christmas. Well, four days into my Ativan abstinence, I had a benzo withdrawal seizure in the middle of the night. A peculiar thing about benzo withdrawal seizures: They can make your chest and stomach muscles go into violent contraction, basically causing you to curl up in a perpetual sit-up. I was left in this contraction for what could have been the entire night, until my wife woke up and noticed what was happening.

The chest contraction did so much muscle damage that I had to literally crawl on my hands and knees to the bathroom for two weeks, before I could finally begin to walk upright. It also left me with two compressed vertebra in my upper back (to go with the f-d up disks in my lower back, I suppose). I was lucky I didn't swallow my tongue in the process. And the chest pain!!! Benzos: nothing to fool with. And yet I've never had a single doctor ever warn me about the dangers of going off them too quickly.

I fully understand sophia's concern about the drug. I also understand why her 76-year old would be taking them. Life is cruel and it gets more so with every passing decade. Benzos are emotional painkillers, they provide a vacation from the simple strain of caring for loved ones, providing for them, watching yourself and your friends age as you collectively realize that most, if not all your dreams will never come true - at least the good ones, anyway. Hence, I suppose, the potential for addiction and the danger of benzo-withdrawal seizures.

I'm no doctor, but I say give her all the Librium she wants. What the hell.    
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Avatar_n_tn
ALS is a terrible way to go and isn't much kinder to the loved ones who have to care for the victim. Your mom has certainly earned the right to a little relief from life's seemingly unending parade of tradgedy, injustice and pain. I say if the Librium gives your mom even a few miutes of peace a day, more power to her. Who's she hurting, anyway, by relying on a little pill to get through the day? She earned some peace and should get all she can. Sometimes the cheaky little saying, "Life sucks, then you die" can be all too real. You're simply showing your mom the same kind of humanity and compassion that she's show you would the situations be reversed. Give my best to you and your mom. Watching someone die of ALS is a terrible experience. My heart goes out to you and your family.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Patrick for what you said, and I was thinking.

I am going to tell Chad why my 76 yr.old mother is on librium.
She started taking it when my father started falling down and had to go to the VA hospital. Months later we found out he had A.L.S. or Lou Gehrig's disease. He never walked again.
We spent a whole year in the hospital with him back and forth, and he ended up in the nursing home, as she was unable to lift him, etc. I can't even describe the terrible time we went through. Once, at the nursing home we watched him die,and they had to bring him back to life. His heart stopped.He had to have a pacemaker on top of everything else.

Does this give you and idea of why she needed librium?

Now, she lives alone and she can't even drive so she has to depend on everyone else to even go to the store.

Anyway, you probably get the picture. Being alone is her main problem.
    
Thank you again for your comments, even Chad, who will understand some day.

                                          Sophia
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Avatar_n_tn
After a long absence - I'm back...after much reluctance to fill in the "member" b.s. New name, same problems. Anyway, about the Librium - I noticed Sophia (I think it was Sophia) wrote about her mothers battle with getting off of Librium...also in there was a hint that your mother has digestive, eating, possible bowel problems? Maybe it's associated with nerves etc. - but here's a drug that may solve both problems - It's called Librax. It's something I was put on. It contains both a small dose of "Librium" and a bowel relaxant. The theory here is - most irritable bowel patients probably have nervous tension that causes their bowel problems or at least exacerbates them. So maybe this could be an option for your mom? You know - small dose of a sedative and a digestive aid as well. If she's reluctant - tell her I'm only 29 and take it. Not frequently, but I do. Also, if anyone's afraid of her getting off the Librium for her own sake, maybe this could be substituted with little or none of her knowledge (I know, hard ethical dilemna there, I'm not saying you should). If she's 76 and the Librium is making your mom's quality of life better - she should stay on it. From what I've read, she's just recently become aware of the drug and almost somewhat paranoid/scared over it's role in her life. I'm getting in late on this thread, and don't have anything but suggestions, but take them for what they are. An honest attempt. I'm not sure of all the details. I should have re-read everything before I typed this much...but I got derailed by the "log in - Not a member yet? Click here." stuff...If I screwed up or offended, I'm sorry and will try again! - Jimenez
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Avatar_n_tn
That's cool Sophia,  I just thought Librium was used for people that have Psychotic episodes (Schizophrenia etc..)  sorry about that, I know it's none of my business.  Just plain ol' didn't know.  hope she gets better
Chad
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been prescribed Librax for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  My question is...is Librax a form of Librium. Please someone with Librium experience let me know because i've been taking these pills for awhile and just need to know what I have in my medicine cabinet.  Is Librax a form of Librium?  How and what parts of the drug Librium is used in this drug?  Any help is welcomed.  Neena
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Avatar_n_tn
Taken from rxlist.com:

--Librax combines in a single capsule formulation the antianxiety action of Librium (chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride) and the anticholinergic/spasmolytic effects of Quarzan (clidinium bromide), bothexclusive developments of Roche research.

Each Librax capsule contains 5 mg chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride and 2.5 mg clidinium bromide. Each capsule also contains corn starch, lactose and talc. Gelatin capsule shells may contain
methyl and propyl parabens and potassium sorbate, with the following dye systems: FD&C Yellow No.10 and either FD&C Blue No.1 or FD&C Green No.3.

--Librium (chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride) is a versatile, therapeutic agent of proven value for the relief of anxiety and tension. It is indicated when anxiety, tension or apprehension are significant components of the clinical profile. It is among the safer of the effective psychopharmacologic compounds.

There you go - yes - they do both contain the active ingredient in plain old Librium. Hope that helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
My gamma is pushing 86 years young and her only problem now is she lost her only child when my mom died,  Gram has been taking "nerve" pills for a gazillion years just because she needs to stay calm and not get worked up over little things like her VCR, the Automated bank tellers, God forbid she should get my ansering machine or worse yet the INTERNET CALL WAVE, she calls and hangs up 10 times in case I didn't get the message.  She also takes 1/2 vicodin everyday for her hip pain after some one beat the **** out of her and stole 5 bucks from her.  Her doc was afraid she would get addicted to the pills,  I came out and told him, she is 86 years old!!! what is she gonna do turn into some drug crazed fiend hanging in the drug houses?  I don't think so,  give the lady her pills so she can be painfree and nerve free for the rest of her days.....no point to this post, just thought i'd mention it while we were talking about gramma's and watch,  this post will not be deleted like the other ones. sorry,  it's pms again  Love to all   cindi
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Avatar_n_tn
HIGH:sorry HI; It is Codeine that should not be taken with grape fruit juice,because you may get a better buzz.Glutethimide is the other cpd2y6 enzyme inducer.(demethylation of methylmorphine(codeine) to morphine.
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Avatar_n_tn
yes, Neena, Librax has a very small dose of Librium in it -- much smaller than what you'd get if you were taking straight Librium capsules. You can check out this or any drug on:
www.rxlist.com
It's easy to use and gives you all the manufacturer's notes and more. Try it.
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Avatar_m_tn
In my experience, Librium has been a bad drug.  I had taken either Ativan or Xanax for severe anxiety for years and rapidly tapered off each with no trouble but after taking Librium for just one year, I've been tapering off for a year and even tapering just a tiny amount has caused me severe side effects.  I regret that I did not do more research about that drug earlier.  It taught me to be a little more diligent about getting informed about the drugs prescribed to me.  I had read warning about  the correlation of reading the side effects and developing them so I thought a head-in-the-sand approach was best.  I've since learned differently.  I have several conditions which necessitate me taking pharmaceuticals but I'm doing a lot more research and trying to do as much to diminish the amount through diet and lifestyle.  I know aging seems to dictate more meds and am prepared for this event but I also look for providers who take a conservative approach to prescribing while providing alternatives to manage my health conditions.  I'm nearly 60 now and am taking the least amount of medicine that I have since my 20's so for me it has been possible.  Best wishes for your mom's health and your job as her caregiver.
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