Oxazepam; Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions

Oxazepam; Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions

Oxazepam is a synthetic benzodiazepine derivative with anxiolytic and sedative-hypnotic properties. Although the mechanism of action has not been fully elucidated, oxazepam appears to enhance gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor affinity for GABA, thereby prolonging synaptic actions of GABA.

Oxazepam is an orally available benzodiazepine used in the therapy of anxiety and acute alcohol withdrawal syndromes. As with most benzodiazepines, oxazepam therapy has not been associated with serum aminotransferase or alkaline phosphatase elevations, and clinically apparent liver injury from oxazepam has not been reported and must be very rare if it occurs at all.

Oxazepam is believed to stimulate GABA receptors in the ascending reticular activating system. Since GABA is inhibitory, receptor stimulation increases inhibition and blocks both cortical and limbic arousal following stimulation of the brain stem reticular formation. It is the first of a chemical series of compounds known as the 3-hydroxybenzodiazepinones. A therapeutic agent providing versatility and flexibility in control of common emotional disturbances, this product exerts prompt action in a wide variety of disorders associated with anxiety, tension, agitation, and irritability.

Mechanism of Action of Oxazepam

Similar to other benzodiazepines, oxazepam exerts its anxiolytic effects by potentiating the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on GABA-A receptors through a cooperative mechanism of action. GABA receptors are ionotropic chloride-linked channel receptors that produce inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. When activated by GABA, the GABA receptor/chloride ionophore complex undergoes a conformational change that allows the passage of chloride ions through the channel. Benzodiazepines are believed to exert their effect by increasing the effect of GABA at its receptor. Benzodiazepine binding increases chloride conductance in the presence of GABA by increasing the frequency at which the channel opens. In contrast, barbiturates increase chloride conductance in the presence of GABA by prolonging the time in which the channel remains open. There are 18 subtypes of the GABA receptor subunits. The α2 subunit of the α2β3γ2 receptor complex is thought to mediate anxiolytic effects while the α1 subunit of the α1β2γ2 receptor complex is thought to mediate sedative, anticonvulsant and anterograde amnesia effects.

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Indications of Oxazepam 

Dosage of Oxazepam

Strengths: 15 mg; 10 mg; 30 mg

  • Anxiety: 15-30mg three or four times a day.
  • Anxiety associated with sleeplessness: 15-25mg one hour before going to bed, your doctor may increase this up to a maximum of 50mg.
  • Elderly and patients sensitive to benzodiazepine drugs: 10-20mg three or four times a day.
  • Children: Not recommended.


13 years and older

  • 10 to 15 mg orally, 3 or 4 times per day
  • 15 to 30 mg orally, 3 or 4 times per day

Alcohol Withdrawal

  • 15 to 30 mg orally, 3 or 4 times per day

Adult Dose for Anxiety

  • 10 to 15 mg orally, 3 or 4 times per day

Pediatric Dose for Anxiety

13 years and older

  • 10 to 15 mg orally, 3 or 4 times per day

Side Effects of Oxazepam

The most common


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Drug Interactions of Oxazepam

Oxazepam may interact with following drugs, supplements & change the efficacy of drugs

This is not a complete list of oxazepam drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Pregnancy & Lactation of Oxazepam


You should not take Oxazepam tablets if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. If you take Oxazepam tablets late in your pregnancy or during labor your baby might have a low body temperature, floppiness, and breathing difficulties. If taken regularly during late pregnancy, your baby may develop withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.


It is not known if oxazepam crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication.





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