Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Librium for alcohol withdrawal

Librium is the generic name of Chlordiazepoxide. It is benzodiazepine class medication similar to Diazepam or Valium. Librium is mainly used for treating alcohol withdrawal. It acts via activating GABA type A receptors in the brain. In addition, Librium is the first benzodiazepine to hit the market.  

What is alcohol withdrawal?

Even though alcohol is a simple molecule, it acts on various brain receptors. One important receptor that it acts is GABA type A receptor. It activates GABA type A receptor. Prolonged use of alcohol can cause adaptive changes in this receptor which makes the person addicted to alcohol. When such a person stops taking alcohol, he may experience very drastic withdrawal response. This withdrawal response can even be life threatening.  Since Librium is acting on the GABA type receptor, it can be used to alleviate withdrawal response and give time to the brain to adapt.

How Librium is given for alcohol withdrawal?

Librium is usually started in a high dose and then gradually the dose will be tailed off. Common doses to start with are (30mgs 6hrly, 20mg 6hrly). Then the dose is gradually reduced until the withdrawal features are disappeared.

Usually Librium is tailed off within five days. But a night dose is continued for sometime to help sleep disturbance associated with alcohol withdrawal.

It usually takes one to two weeks to completely detoxify alcohol dependent person. However, his/her craving for the alcohol will not subside with Librium. It needs careful psychotherapy and medications such as Acamprosate.

Problems associated with Librium?

Librium can cause drowsiness, sedation, cognitive impairment, and ataxia. Due to this reason a Person who is on Librium should not operate machinery or drive vehicles. But they can do these tasks once he/she is off drugs for more than a week, so the drug is cleared from the body. 

First published in
Mental health information blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What is Cytop (citalopram) depression medication prescribed for?

Cytop is a medication is SSRI drug class.SSRI stands for Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Its generic name is citalopram. It is prescribed for clinical depression, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), Panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, Post traumatic stress disorder, Social anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

However, Citalopram is a racimic mixture of R and S enantiomer . S - enantiomer is the most effective active component. Escitalopram is the pure form of S - Citalopram and it is more effective in treating depression. But the clinical evidence is not so convincing.

Treatment most often reduces or even eliminates symptoms, but not a cure since symptoms can recur after medicine stopped. Once symptoms are gone, this medication should be continued for 1 year for the first episode of depression. For second and subsequent episodes of depression, treatment may need to be indefinite.  Use in anxiety disorders may also need to be indefinite ( Panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, Post traumatic stress disorder, Social anxiety disorder ).

Usual dosage is 20–60 mg/day. This drug usually is prescribed in the morning to avoid insomnia or sleep disturbances.


1. What is Citalopram or Cytop is prescribed for?

2. What are the side effects Cytop or Citalopram?


British National Formulary 59th edition

First published in
Mental health information blog

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