Volume 20, Issue 3 (July 1975)
Chlordiazepoxide and Alcohol: A Fatal Overdose
Chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (Librium®) has been a safe and effective drug in the treatment of the acute effects of alcohol withdrawal  and has been a popular psychotropic agent in the treatment of chronic alcoholism because of its low incidence of side effects, low reported incidence of abuse leading to addiction, and wide margin of safety. Hollister  states that massive overdoses of the benzodiazepines offer little difficulty in management and concludes that the benzodiazepines are “virtually suicide-proof.” Davis et al [3,4] note that fatalities due to overdose of chlordiazepoxide alone have not been reported. In addition, there have been, to our knowledge, no reported fatalities with a combination of chlordiazepoxide and alcohol. The purpose of this paper is to report a fatal overdose in which a combination of chlordiazepoxide and ethanol was found. A second fatal overdose is presented in which chlordiazepoxide and ethanol were probably the only drugs taken.