Brand Names: Serax
Generic Name: oxazepam
- What is oxazepam (Serax)?
- What are the possible side effects of oxazepam (Serax)?
- What is the most important information I should know about oxazepam (Serax)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking oxazepam (Serax)?
- How should I take oxazepam (Serax)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Serax)?
- What happens if I overdose (Serax)?
- What should I avoid while taking oxazepam (Serax)?
- What other drugs will affect oxazepam (Serax)?
- Where can I get more information (Serax)?
What is oxazepam (Serax)?
Oxazepam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen) that is used to treat anxiety disorders.
Oxazepam may also be used short-term to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Oxazepam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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What are the possible side effects of oxazepam (Serax)?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Oxazepam can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have weak or shallow breathing, if you are hard to wake up, or if you stop breathing.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe drowsiness;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- unusual changes in mood or behavior;
- confusion, anger, paranoia, problems with memory or concentration;
- tremors, slurred speech, problems with balance or muscle movement;
- a seizure;
- trouble breathing;
- fever, chills, sore throat; or
- upper stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
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.
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about oxazepam (Serax)?
Oxazepam can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing.
MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Do not stop using oxazepam suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking oxazepam (Serax)?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to oxazepam, or if you have mental illness and psychosis.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- low blood pressure;
- depression, mental illness, suicidal thoughts;
- alcoholism or drug addiction; or
- liver or kidney disease.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Oxazepam may harm an unborn baby. Avoid taking this medicine during the first trimester of pregnancy.
If you use oxazepam while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Oxazepam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.
How should I take oxazepam (Serax)?
Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Never use oxazepam in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
While using oxazepam, you may need frequent blood tests.
Oxazepam should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medicine for longer than your doctor recommends.
Do not stop using oxazepam suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose (Serax)?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose (Serax)?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of oxazepam can be fatal, especially if you take it with alcohol.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, or loss of consciousness.
What should I avoid while taking oxazepam (Serax)?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
What other drugs will affect oxazepam (Serax)?
Taking oxazepam with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Other drugs may affect oxazepam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information (Serax)?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about oxazepam.
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