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Serax Side Effects

Generic Name: oxazepam

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug oxazepam. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Serax.

It is possible that some side effects of Serax may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to oxazepam: oral capsule, oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, oxazepam (the active ingredient contained in Serax) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking oxazepam, check with your doctor immediately:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fever with or without chills
  • headache
  • itching
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • painful or difficult urination
  • rash
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • shortness of breath
  • slurred speech
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stomach pain
  • swelling
  • swollen glands
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood
  • yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
  • Being forgetful
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • false or unusual sense of well-being
  • fever and sore throat
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • hallucinations
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of memory
  • lower back or side pain
  • nightmares
  • pale skin
  • problems with memory
  • severe sleepiness
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking oxazepam, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Blurred vision
  • change in consciousness
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of strength or energy
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • sweating
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • unusual weak feeling

Some oxazepam side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • increased interest in sexual intercourse
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
  • sensation of spinning
Incidence not known
  • Double vision
  • menstrual changes
  • seeing double

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to oxazepam: oral capsule, oral tablet

Nervous system

Rare (less than 0.1%): Slurred speech, tremor, ataxia
Frequency not reported: Drowsiness, amnesia, anterograde amnesia, reduced alertness, dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo, headache, syncope, dysarthria, changes in EEG pattern, stupor, memory impairment[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Edema
Frequency not reported: Fever, fatigue[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Altered libido
Frequency not reported: Incontinence, urinary retention, menstrual irregularities[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Jaundice, hepatic impairment
Frequency not reported: Increased liver enzymes[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Leukopenia
Frequency not reported: Blood dyscrasias (including agranulocytosis)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypotension[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Minor diffuse skin rashes (morbilliform, urticarial and maculopapular)[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%):Nausea
Frequency not reported: Salivation changes, gastrointestinal disorders[Ref]


The most commonly reported side effects were drowsiness, headache, and fatigue.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Muscle weakness[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, diplopia[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Lethargy
Frequency not reported: Disorientation, nightmares, mild excitatory effects with stimulation of affect, numbed emotions, restlessness, agitation, irritability, delusions, rages, psychoses, inappropriate behavior, behavioral adverse effects (including paradoxical aggressive outbursts), excitement, hallucinations, uncovering of depression with suicidal tendencies, withdrawal symptoms (including persistent tinnitus, involuntary movements, paresthesia, perceptual changes, confusion, convulsions, muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, vomiting), aggression, euphoria[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Serax (oxazepam)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.