Generic Name: oxazepam (ox-AZE-uh-pam)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Serax is used for:

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

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

Do NOT use Serax if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Serax
  • 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.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using Serax:

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 Serax. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following medicines.

  • Clozapine, sodium oxybate (GHB), or valproic acid because they may increase the risk of Serax's side effects
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Serax

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Serax 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 Serax:

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

  • Take Serax by mouth with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of Serax 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 Serax.

Important safety information:

  • Serax may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Serax with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Check with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Serax; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Use Serax with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially lightheadedness, particularly when standing.
  • Serax should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Serax has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Serax while you are pregnant. Serax is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Serax.

Some people who use Serax for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you stop taking Serax suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include convulsion, tremor, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, and sweating.

Possible side effects of Serax:

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; itching; 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 about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

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

Proper storage of Serax:

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Serax, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Serax 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Serax or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Serax. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Serax. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Serax.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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