oxazepam (Serax, Zaxopam)

  • Medical Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is oxazepam-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Oxazepam (Serax, Zaxopam) is a member of a class of anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines. Other members of the benzodiazepine class include alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clobazam (Onfi), diazepam (Valium), estazolam (Prosom), flurazepam (Dalmane), midazolam (Versed), lorazepam (Ativan), temazepam (Restoril), and triazolam (Halcion). It helps relieve anxiety by enhancing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter (a chemical that nerve cells use to communicate with each other) that inhibits activity in the brain. It is thought that excessive activity of nerves in the brain may be the cause of anxiety and other psychological disorders. Benzodiazepines such as oxazepam help to relieve anxiety by increasing the effects of GABA in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Oxazepam was approved by the FDA in June, 1965.

Is oxazepam-oral available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for oxazepam-oral?

Yes

What are the uses for oxazepam-oral?

Oxazepam is used to treat anxiety and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

What are the side effects of oxazepam-oral?

The most common side effects associated with oxazepam treatment are

Other side effects include

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What is the dosage for oxazepam-oral?

The recommended dose of oxazepam is 10-30 mg by mouth 3-4 times daily as needed.

Which drugs or supplements interact with oxazepam-oral?

Excessive sedation can occur when oxazepam is combined with certain other medications or substances that slow the brain's processes. Medications that should be avoided include sleeping aids, certain pain medications (narcotics), barbiturates, and alcohol.

Is oxazepam-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Use during pregnancy may cause harm to the fetus and should be avoided.
  • Oxazepam may be secreted in human milk. It should not be used during breastfeeding.

What else should I know about oxazepam-oral?

What preparations of oxazepam-oral are available?

  • Oral capsules: 10 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg.
  • Tablet: 15 mg

How should I keep oxazepam-oral stored?

Oxazepam capsules and tablets should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F and 86 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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Summary

Oxazepam (Serax, Zaxopam) is a prescription drug used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and anxiety. Some side effects of Serax may include

Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information are provided.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

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Reviewed on 7/28/2016
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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