Chlordiazepoxide/clidinium is a combination of two agents used to combat medical conditions of the gastrointestinal system. Chlordiazepoxide acts as a sedative to reduce irritability and excitement, and as a hypnotic for inducing sleep. Clidinium, also known as clidinium bromide, is classified as an anticholinergic agent to block the acetylcholine neurotransmitter in the nervous system. Chlordiazepoxide/clidinium is better known by the brand name Librax.
Chlordiazepoxide is reputed to be the world’s first benzodiazepine, a drug formed with the combination of the benzine and diazepine chemical compounds. Polish chemist Leo Sternbach accidentally synthesized the tranquilizer in 1955. This discovery opened the gates for other types of benzodiazepines to be introduced to the market. Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche is the prime distributor of benzodiazepines, and is known for introducing diazepam, better known as Valium, in 1963. Other trade names for chlordiazepoxide include Librium, Mesural, Novapam, Risolid, Silibrin, Tropium and Zetran.
The first half of chlordiazepoxide/clidinium is specifically used for fighting against ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The latter involves symptoms such as abdominal bloating, pain and discomfort; and bowel movements such as constipation and diarrhea. Additionally, chlordiazepoxide is used to reduce anxiety.
As for clidinium bromide, it is combined with chlordiazepoxide to reduce the occurrence of stomach spasms and abdominal cramps. It does this by inhibiting acetylcholine, which is responsible for transmitting nerve impulses. The result is a relaxation of the intestines and a decrease in stomach acid.
Chlordiazepoxide/clidinium is manufactured as a capsule for a daily intake of three or four times. Chlordiazepoxide, however, is a very potent agent with a history of use as a recreational drug since the 1960s. Thus patients are advised to avoid larger doses and taking the medication beyond a four-month period, and to consult a doctor first before halting medication. A sudden stop of chlordiazepoxide/clidinium administration could cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiousness, irritability and sleeplessness.
Common side effects of chlordiazepoxide/clidinium include bloated feeling, increased visual sensitivity to sunlight, appetite changes, dry mouth, drowsiness, heartburn and upset stomach. More severe signs include blurred vision, constipation, frequent urination or urination difficulty, fever, irregular heartbeat and decreased sex drive. People who wish to take chlordiazepoxide/clidinium should let their doctors know if they are allergic to the drug or other medications, have medical conditions such as glaucoma or high blood pressure, are pregnant or plan to be pregnant, or are having dental surgery.