Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is a type of benzodiazepine that’s used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and tremors. Like other benzos, Librium reduces nerve cell communication in the central nervous system to promote relaxation and reduce excessive signaling that could contribute to anxiety or withdrawal symptoms. When using this medication, something that all patients should be familiar with is how long Librium stays in your system. Because this drug has a relatively long-half life, the timeline may vary from person to person. Below, Evoke Wellness Miramar in South Florida talks about Librium, including how long it stays in your system.
How Long Does Librium Take To Work?
Unlike other benzos, Librium kicks in fairly quickly, and the body doesn’t require a long period of use to become accustomed to the drug. Librium takes about 1 to 2 hours to work following ingestion, depending on the dose taken and how long the person has been using the medication. Librium is slowly abused and reaches peak levels in the bloodstream after a couple of hours, with side effects lasting about 6 hours. In addition to reduced anxiety, relaxation, calm, and reduced movement, common side effects of Librium include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and others. Librium is broken down by the liver into metabolites. For this reason (among others), it’s important to avoid drinking while taking this medication, as their combined use can have a severe impact on the liver. While chlordiazepoxide is prescribed for alcohol withdrawal as well, before utilizing this drug, physicians ensure that the individual’s liver is healthy enough to take the medication.
The half-life of a drug refers to the length of time it takes for the amount of a drug’s active substance (metabolites) to be reduced by half in the body. Librium’s half-life varies from 6.6 to 48 hours, depending on the dosage taken. This means that half of the drug’s metabolites will be eliminated from the body during this window of time. This half-life is impacted by many factors, such as the duration of use and the dosage taken. For instance, chronically taking high doses of Librium will eventually extend how long it takes for the drug to be eliminated in the body. The more accustomed the body is to a substance, the longer it will take to eliminate it. Patients may start with high doses of chlordiazepoxide so their bodies can adjust to the new medication. Once the drug is built up sufficiently in their bloodstream to promote consistent effects, their dose can be reduced.
Factors That Affect How Long Librium is in Your System
How long Librium stays in your system greatly depends on a variety of factors, including age, metabolism, liver health, sex, duration of use, dosage taken, body mass, and more. Librium is metabolized in the liver and excreted in the urine. If one’s liver is impaired in any way, the rate at which Librium is metabolized and eliminated from the body will also be impeded. An impaired liver can lead to changes in the drug’s half-life as the body struggles to rid itself of the drug. This is also why age plays a role in how long Librium lasts in the body, mainly because liver health tends to decline as people age. As a result, people over the age of 65 take 40% longer to eliminate Librium than people in their 20s or 30s.1 As previously mentioned, the higher the dosage of Librium and period of use, the longer it will take for the drug to leave the body. Metabolites tend to build up in one’s system as a result of long-term use, which extends the elimination process. Taking Librium with other substances can also impact how long it lasts in the body.
How Long Does Librium Last in Your System?
Librium can last in your system anywhere from 6 hours to 6 weeks, depending on the part of the body that’s being drug tested. Librium shows up on drug tests as a benzodiazepine. Although there’s no specific drug test for chlordiazepoxide, it does show up on a standard 5-panel drug screening. In addition to Librium, this test detects other benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Halcion, and Klonopin. Employers usually require testing as part of the hiring process and sometimes sporadically throughout employment. If you take Librium or any benzos, be sure to mention this to your employers and drug test administrators.
Librium Drug Test Detection Windows
- Blood: Librium lasts in blood anywhere from 6 to 48 hours after the last use. A blood test for Librium is not as common as other testing methods but is required if the individual is suspected of taking it.
- Urine: In a urine test, Librium shows up as a benzodiazepine for up to 6 weeks since the last dose, mainly because metabolites are excreted through urine.
- Saliva: Although a saliva test for Librium is uncommon, it can be detected in saliva for up to 10 days.
- Hair: As with most drugs, a hair drug test has the longest detection window compared to blood, saliva, and urine tests. Although this method is uncommon, it might be used in instances when chlordiazepoxide is unlikely to be seen using other drug testing methods. With that said, Librium can be detected in hair for up to 90 days.
Help for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
Eliminating Librium from the body is a normal process that patients go through when they no longer need to take it or when they’re addicted to the drug and need to be weaned off of it to recover. Considering how difficult benzo withdrawal can be, receiving medical support can mitigate many of the challenges that come with the process. Benzos like Librium are also addictive, so quitting this drug can be difficult without help. Fortunately, our South Florida Detox Center offers medical detox for various substances, including Librium detox, to help people struggling with benzodiazepine abuse get through withdrawals without relapsing. Patients can rest easy knowing that they’ll be under the round-the-clock care of our medical team. Whether it’s medical detox or inpatient drug treatment that you need, Evoke Wellness at Miramar, can help. Contact Evoke Wellness today at 833-819-6066 to learn how to get started. Source: American Family Physician – Reducing the Risk of Adverse Drug Events in Older Adults