What is oxazepam?

Oxazepam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). It affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.

Oxazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or muscle spasms.

Oxazepam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Health Benefits

Oxazepam can offer a number of health benefits, including:

1. Reducing anxiety

2. Treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms

3. Relieving muscle spasms

Side Effects and Risks

Like all medications, oxazepam may cause side effects. The most common side effects include:

1. Drowsiness

2. Headache

3. Nausea

Less common side effects may include:

1. Difficulty urinating

2. Blurred vision

3. Changes in sex drive or ability

4. Constipation

Serious side effects are rare but may include:

1. Allergic reaction (skin rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing)

2. Yellowing of the skin or eyes

3. Seizures

4. Depression

5. hallucinations

6. Thoughts of suicide

If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

Oxazepam may also interact with other medications, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements.


Oxazepam is available in tablet form. The usual starting dose is 10 mg, taken three or four times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.

If you are using oxazepam for alcohol withdrawal, the usual starting dose is 30 mg, taken three or four times a day.

Take oxazepam exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Oxazepam can be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share oxazepam with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.


Oxazepam may interact with other medications, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking oxazepam. Alcohol can increase the side effects of this medication and make it more difficult for your body to process the drug.

Mechanism of Action

Oxazepam belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines work by depressing the central nervous system, which has a calming effect.

Benzodiazepines are thought to work by binding to GABA receptors in the brain and increasing the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits nerve cells from firing. This action results in a calming effect.

Benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV controlled substances because they have a high potential for abuse and dependence.


Oxazepam is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and has a bioavailability of 100%. The mean elimination half-life is 3-8 hours. Oxazepam is metabolized in the liver by conjugation with glucuronic acid. Its metabolites are excreted in the urine.

Pregnancy and Oxazepam

Oxazepam should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks to the developing fetus. If you become pregnant while taking oxazepam, contact your doctor immediately.

Alternatives to Oxazepam

There are a number of alternative drugs that can be used to treat anxiety or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These include:

1. Buspirone

2. Hydroxyzine

3. Lorazepam

4. Diazepam

5. Alprazolam

6. Clonazepam

7. Chlordiazepoxide


Oxazepam is a white, crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 288.4. It is insoluble in water and has a pKa of 3.7.

Brand names

1. Serax

2. Alepam

3. Anxiolit

4. Calmador

5. Diazepam Intensol

6. Dizac

7. Eupramin

8. Ledoxan

9. Murelax

10. Noripramin

11. Novopramine

12. Opamox

13. Pronerval


An overdose of oxazepam may be fatal. The symptoms of an overdose may include:

1. Drowsiness

2. Confusion

3. Slurred speech


5. Loss of coordination

6. Slow heartbeat

7. Shallow breathing

8. Coma

9. Death