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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Serax

Generic Name: oxazepam (Pronunciation: ox A ze pam)

What is oxazepam (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.

Oxazepam 10 mg-ESI

pink, imprinted with 59911 5876

Oxazepam 10 mg-PUR

pink, capsule, imprinted with R067

Oxazepam 10 mg-ZEN

capsule, blue/white, imprinted with Z 4804

Oxazepam 15 mg-ESI

orange/white, imprinted with 59911 5877

Oxazepam 15 mg-IVA

white, capsule, imprinted with Z 4805, Z4805

Oxazepam 15 mg-PUR

capsule, red, imprinted with R069

Oxazepam 30 mg-IVA

orange/white, capsule, imprinted with Z 4806

Oxazepam 30 mg-PUR

capsule, brown, imprinted with R073

What are the possible side effects of oxazepam (Serax)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • confusion;
  • unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger;
  • hyperactivity, agitation, hostility;
  • hallucinations;
  • feeling lightheaded, fainting;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • problems with urination.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • amnesia or forgetfulness, trouble concentrating;
  • slurred speech;
  • swelling;
  • headache;
  • skin rash;
  • 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.

What is the most important information I should know about oxazepam (Serax)?

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).

This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use oxazepam if you are pregnant.

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.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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