Chlordiazepoxide is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Chlordiazepoxide affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety or symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Chlordiazepoxide is used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and tension associated with anxiety disorders. Chlordiazepoxide is also used to reduce symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal.
Chlordiazepoxide possesses sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties. These effects appear to be mediated through facilitation of the actions of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the CNS. Chlordiazepoxide acts selectively on polysynaptic neuronal pathways and may inhibit or augment transmission, depending on the endogenous function of GABA. It does not produce ganglionic blockade or reduce affective responses at therapeutic dosage as do phenothiazine drugs and reserpine. Amine oxidase inhibition has not been demonstrated with chlordiazepoxide.
Chlordiazepoxide belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. It acts on receptors in the brain (GABA receptors) causing the release of a chemical called GABA (gamma amino butyric acid). GABA is a major inhibitory chemical in the brain involved in inducing sleepiness and control of anxiety and fits. Chlordiazepoxide acts by increasing the activity of GABA, thereby reducing the functioning of certain areas of the brain. This results in sleepiness, a decrease in anxiety and relaxation of muscles.
Chlordiazepoxide is most commonly used to treat insomnia. It decreases the time taken to fall asleep and nocturnal awakenings, as well as increasing the total amount of time spent sleeping. As chloriazepoxide remains active in the body for many hours, drowsiness may occur the next day. Chlordiazepoxide is also used to relieve anxiety in serious anxiety related conditions including alcohol withdrawal. It is not recommended for the long-term treatment of anxiety due to the development of dependence.