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All about: Oxazepam

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Generic Name: Oxazepam Capsules and Tablets (ox-AZE-uh-pam)
Brand Name: Serax

Oxazepam is used for:

Treating anxiety. It may also be used to treat alcohol withdrawal and other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Oxazepam is a benzodiazepine. It works by affecting the brain to reduce nervous tension.

Do NOT use Oxazepam if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Oxazepam
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)
  • you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma, severe liver disease, or certain severe mood or mental problems (eg, psychosis)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Oxazepam :

Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of glaucoma or a predisposition for glaucoma, liver problems, lung problems or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), muscle problems, depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or the blood disease porphyria
  • if you have a history of substance (eg, alcohol) abuse or dependence

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Oxazepam . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following medicines.

  • Clozapine, sodium oxybate (GHB), or valproic acid because the side effects of Oxazepam may be increased
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because its actions and side effects may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Oxazepam may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Oxazepam :

Use Oxazepam as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Oxazepam may be taken with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Oxazepam and you are using it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Oxazepam .

Important safety information:

  • Oxazepam may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Oxazepam . Using Oxazepam alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Oxazepam will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose or take Oxazepam for longer than prescribed. Exceeding the recommended dose or taking Oxazepam for longer than prescribed may be habit-forming.
  • Use Oxazepam with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially lightheadedness, particularly when standing.
  • Use Oxazepam with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Oxazepam has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Oxazepam during pregnancy. Oxazepam is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Oxazepam .

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking Oxazepam . This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you suddenly stop taking Oxazepam , you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms, including convulsion, tremor, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, and sweating.

Possible side effects of Oxazepam :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Clumsiness; dizziness; excessive daytime drowsiness; feeling of a whirling motion; headache; lightheadedness; unsteadiness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; excitation; fainting; severe drowsiness; unusual weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include clumsiness; confusion; deep sleep; loss of consciousness; slow reflexes.

Proper storage of Oxazepam :

Store Oxazepam at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Oxazepam out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Oxazepam , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Oxazepam is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Oxazepam . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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