Oxazepam ( Serax )dt at sheet


Oxazepam is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety, insomnia and symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal. Oxazepam also has amnesic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant and sedative properties. It comes in tablet form in dosages ranging from 5mg to 50mg. Oxazepam is a Schedule IV drug and works by inhibiting effects on the central nervous system by acting on benzodiazepine receptors which results in increased effect of GABA to GABAa receptors.

Oxazepam is a moderate slow acting benzodiazepine compared to others. The slower acting factor of Oxazepam makes it a positive treatment for sleep issues where someone has trouble staying asleep rather than falling asleep. Other medical conditions Oxazepam is used to treat include PTSD, social phobias, anxiety disorders that are associated with depression, tension, irritability and agitation as well as premenstrual syndrome.

Oxazepam side effects

Like all medications Oxazepam has known side effects some of which may occur with sudden discontinuation of use. These include:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired memory
  • Retrograde amnesia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abdominal pain/cramps
  • Convulsions
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

If you are taking Oxazepam and experience any of these side effects, you should contact a health care provider as soon as possible.

Oxazepam contraindications

Certain medical conditions and risk factors may prevent someone from being a candidate for Oxazepam. If you have any of the following medical conditions or risk factors you should only take Oxazepam under the care of a health care provider:

  • Hepatic disease
  • COPD
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Elderly persons
  • Children
  • Alcohol and/or drug dependent persons
  • Psychiatric disorders

Special precaution should be taken with women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy. While all of the possible effects of a pregnancy are not known, it is known that babies who are exposed to Oxazepam in utero during the third trimester have been born with floppy infant syndrome as well as benzodiazepine withdrawal.

It is possible to become addicted to Oxazepam and suffer withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Generally the higher the dose of Oxazepam and the longer the person has been taking it, the greater the chance for withdrawal symptoms of greater intensity and duration. Because of the addictive risk of Oxazepam misuse such as taking the drug for nonmedical reasons like getting high or taking it without being under a doctor’s care is possible.

Because Oxazepam can cause drowsiness is it recommend that those who are taking it refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery. Further because of the risk of interactions with other medications persons taking Oxazepam should be sure to disclose their medication use to their health care provider prior to taking Oxazepam.


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