Oxazepam is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including anxiety associated with depression. This drug seems to be particularly effective for anxiety, tension, agitation and irritability in older people. It is also prescribed to relieve symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal.
Benzodiazepine hypnotics, Benzodiazepine sedatives
Oxazepam is a short-acting benzodiazepine. It increases neuronal membrane permeability to Cl ions by binding to stereospecific benzodiazepine receptors on the postsynaptic GABA neuron w/in the CNS (including the limbic system, reticular formation) and enhancing the GABA inhibitory effects resulting in hyperpolarisation and stabilisation.
- Mild to Moderate Anxiety with Tension, Irritability and Agitation: The usual dose is 10 to 15 mg 3 or 4 times per day.
- Severe Anxiety, Depression with Anxiety, or Alcohol Withdrawal: The usual dose is 15 to 30 mg, 3 or 4 times per day.
Children: Safety and effectiveness have not been established for children less than 6 years of age, nor have dosage guidelines been established for children 6 to 12 years. Doctor will adjust the dosage to fit the child’s needs.
Older adults: The usual starting dose is 10 mg, 3 times a day. Doctor may increase the dose to 15 mg 3 or 4 times a day, if needed.
Renal Impairment: No dosage adjustment needed.
May be taken with or without food.
Oxazepam may intensify the effects of alcohol. It may be best to avoid alcohol while taking this medication. If Oxazepam is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with a doctor before combining Oxazepam with the following:
- Antihistamines such as Diphenhydramine
- Narcotic painkillers such as Oxycodone and Pethidine
- Sedatives such as Secobarbital and Triazolam
- Tranquilizers such as Diazepam and Alprazolam
The drug is contraindicated in individuals who have an allergic reaction to Oxazepam or other benzodiazepines such as diazepam. Oxazepam should not be prescribed if any patient is being treated for mental disorders which are more serious than anxiety.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, doctor should be informed immediately. Doctor will determine if it is safe for a patient to continue taking Oxazepam. More common side effect includes drowsiness. Less common or rare side effects include: Blood disorders, change in libido, dizziness, excitement, fainting, headache, liver problems, loss or lack of muscle control, nausea, skin rashes or eruptions, sluggishness or unresponsiveness, slurred speech, swelling due to fluid retention, tremors, vertigo, yellowed eyes and skin. Side effects due to rapid decrease or abrupt withdrawal from Oxazepam: Abdominal and muscle cramps, convulsions, depressed mood, inability to fall or stay asleep, sweating, tremors, vomiting.
Pregnancy & Lactation
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the potential possible fetal harm. Based on information from related drugs, this drug may pass into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended.
This drug may make dizzy, drowsy or cause blurred vision; caution should be taken while engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit should be maintained while taking alcoholic beverages. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the drowsiness effect.
An overdose of Oxazepam can be fatal. Symptoms of mild Oxazepam overdose may include: Confusion, drowsiness, lethargy. Symptoms of more serious overdose may include: Coma, hypnotic state, lack of coordination, limp muscles and low blood pressure.
Store in a cool and dry place, protected from light and moisture. Keep out of reach of children.