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Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Chlordiazepoxide

Chlordiazepoxide is indicated for the management of acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. It is a long-acting benzodiazepine that has anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic properties. However, its long half-life can also cause an alcoholic who is seeking alcohol withdrawal treatment to become addicted to chlordiazepoxide and alcohol.
“Chlordiazepoxide must not be taken for longer than four months without the advice of a doctor.”
Chlordiazepoxide’s half-life is approximately 15 hours and its active metabolites have about 60 hours of half-lives. Dosing for alcohol withdrawal should be done carefully and should be reduced to maintenance levels after the agitation and other symptoms are controlled. Chlordiazepoxide is only indicated for short-term use and must not be taken for longer than four months without the advice of a doctor.

The Dangers of Mixing Drugs

“A person who abuses the drug or mixes it with alcohol can increase his or her risk for liver cirrhosis.” Chlordiazepoxide is intended to relieve the acute symptoms of alcohol withdrawal; however, some people may use the drug to increase the hypnotic and sedative effects of alcohol. Like alcohol, chlordiazepoxide also induces sedation. When mixed with an alcoholic drink, its sedative and hypnotic effects are also amplified. The effects of mixing alcohol and chlordiazepoxide may resemble the symptoms of a chlordiazepoxide overdose, such as:

  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Excitation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Fainting
  • Euphoria
  • Respiratory depression
  • Hypotension
  • Hypothermia
  • Coma

Developing an Addiction

Many recreational users and abusers of chlordiazepoxide mix the drug with alcohol or with other prescription medications without knowing the dangers of drug cocktails like this. Using chlordiazepoxide alone can cause adverse side effects, especially if you are allergic to this drug or have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. A person who abuses the drug or mixes it with alcohol can increase his or her risk for liver cirrhosis, memory problems, kidney diseases, and psychosis. Mixing chlordiazepoxide with same-acting drugs like barbiturates and other benzodiazepines can also lead to shallow respiration, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death.

Someone who is addicted to chlordiazepoxide and alcohol may experience acute withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops taking both or one of these substances. Chlordiazepoxide withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of alcohol withdrawal. With both substances in the system, withdrawing from alcohol and chlordiazepoxide may cause extreme withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment and Recovery Options

Detox and Medication Chlordiazepoxide and alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be treated with medication. It must be administered by a professional and, if possible, in an inpatient detox and rehabilitation facility. Alcohol and chlordiazepoxide addiction should not be treated at home, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe. An outpatient detox center can also help treat the addiction, but it offers limited support as the patient is not monitored 24 hours a day. The best inpatient detox and rehab offer specialized and individual programs, as not all people addicted to chlordiazepoxide and alcohol show the same withdrawal symptoms.

Some people are hesitant to go into treatment for fear of withdrawal symptoms. It is best to consult a specialist before seeking treatment so you can discuss the treatment process and your options for recovery. If you are addicted to chlordiazepoxide and alcohol, call to talk to a specialist and find out how you can help yourself or your loved one recover from addiction.


  • Chlordiazepoxide has long-acting active metabolites that can still affect your body two days after ingestion. This same characteristic is the reason why it is ideal for treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Elderly people should be more careful when taking chlordiazepodixe because they are more at risks for drug accumulation, which may lead to tolerance and drug abuse.
  • Chlordiazepoxide was first used in America in the 1960s for treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms. European countries used another short-acting drug called chlormethiazole which was derived from thiamine. In later years, medical experts compared the two drugs. While both drugs were found to be effective for alcohol withdrawal, chlordiazepoxide is safer to use and induces less dangerous side effects.
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