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All about: Oxazepam

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Generic name:
Brand names: Oxazepam

Why is Oxazepam prescribed?

Oxazepam is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including anxiety associated with depression.

This drug seems to be particularly effective for anxiety, tension, agitation, and irritability in older people. It is also prescribed to relieve symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal.

Oxazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Most important fact about Oxazepam

Oxazepam can be habit-forming or addicting and can lose its effectiveness over time, as you develop a tolerance for it. You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the drug abruptly. When discontinuing the drug, your doctor will reduce the dose gradually.

How should you take Oxazepam?

Take Oxazepam exactly as prescribed.

--If you miss a dose...

If you remember within an hour or so, take the dose immediately. If you do not remember until later, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Oxazepam. Your doctor should periodically reassess the need for Oxazepam.

  • Side effects may include:
    Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, memory impairment, paradoxical excitement, transient amnesia, vertigo
  • Side effects due to rapid decrease in dose or abrupt withdrawal from oxazepam may include:
    Abdominal and muscle cramps, convulsions, depression, inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, sweating, tremors, vomiting

Why should Oxazepam not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to oxazepam or other tranquilizers such as Valium, you should not take Oxazepam. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Anxiety or tension related to everyday stress usually does not require treatment with oxazepam. Discuss your symptoms thoroughly with your doctor.

Oxazepam should not be prescribed if you are being treated for mental disorders more serious than anxiety.

Special warnings about Oxazepam

Oxazepam may cause you to become drowsy or less alert; therefore, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how Oxazepam affects you.

This medication may cause your blood pressure to drop. If you have any heart problems, consult your doctor before taking Oxazepam.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Oxazepam

Oxazepam may intensify the effects of alcohol. It may be best to avoid alcohol while taking Oxazepam.

If oxazepam is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining oxazepam with the following:

Antihistamines such as Benadryl
Narcotic painkillers such as Percocet and Demerol
Sedatives such as Seconal and Halcion
Tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Do not take oxazepam if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There is an increased risk of birth defects. Oxazepam may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Oxazepam is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Oxazepam is finished.

Recommended dosage


Mild to Moderate Anxiety with Tension, Irritability, Agitation

The usual dose is 10 to 15 milligrams 3 or 4 times per day.

Severe Anxiety, Depression with Anxiety, or Alcohol Withdrawal

The usual dose is 15 to 30 milligrams, 3 or 4 times per day.


Safety and effectiveness have not been established for children under 6 years of age, nor have dosage guidelines been established for children 6 to 12 years. The doctor will adjust the dosage to fit your child's needs.


The usual starting dose is 10 milligrams, 3 times a day. Your doctor may increase the dose to 15 milligrams 3 or 4 times a day, if needed.


An overdose of oxazepam can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of mild Oxazepam overdose may include:
    Confusion, drowsiness, lethargy
  • Symptoms of more serious overdose may include:
    Coma, hypnotic state, lack of coordination, limp muscles, low blood pressure

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