Generic Name: oxazepam (ox A ze pam)Brand Names: Serax
Oxazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Oxazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Oxazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Oxazepam may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before taking oxazepam, tell your doctor if you have any breathing problems, glaucoma, porphyria, kidney or liver disease, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.Do not drink alcohol while taking oxazepam. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.
Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy. They can add to sleepiness caused by oxazepam.Oxazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Oxazepam should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Serax (oxazepam)?Do not use this medication if you are allergic to oxazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or lorazepam (Ativan).
Before taking oxazepam, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
kidney or liver disease;
a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.Oxazepam can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use oxazepam without your doctor's consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. Oxazepam may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. The sedative effects of oxazepam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking oxazepam.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.Oxazepam should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 4 months without your doctor's advice. Oxazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Oxazepam should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Contact your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms. Do not stop using oxazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Your symptoms may return when you stop using oxazepam after using it over a long period of time. You may also have seizures or withdrawal symptoms when you stop using oxazepam. Withdrawal symptoms may include tremor, sweating, trouble sleeping, muscle cramps, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, and seizure (convulsions).
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.Store oxazepam at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Benzodiazepines are drugs of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, weakness or tired feeling, muscle weakness, loss of balance or coordination, feeling light-headed, fainting, or coma.
Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures or depression). They can add to sleepiness caused by oxazepam.
unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger;
hyperactivity, agitation, hostility;
feeling lightheaded, fainting;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
problems with urination.
Less serious side effects may include:
amnesia or forgetfulness, trouble concentrating;
nausea, vomiting, constipation;
irregular menstrual periods; or
loss of interest in sex.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before taking oxazepam, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);
medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril);
narcotic medications such as butorphanol (Stadol), codeine, hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), levorphanol (Levo-Dromoran), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), naloxone (Narcan), oxycodone (OxyContin), propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet); or
antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Asendin), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), protriptyline (Vivactil), sertraline (Zoloft), or trimipramine (Surmontil).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with oxazepam. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.