May 22, 2017
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(oxazepam) Capsules and Tablets


Serax (oxazepam) 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, and anxiety associated with depression. In tolerance and toxicity studies on several animal species, this product reveals significantly greater safety factors than related compounds (chlordiazepoxide and diazepam) and manifests a wide separation of effective doses and doses inducing side effects.

Serax capsules contain 10 mg, 15 mg, or 30 mg oxazepam. The inactive ingredients present are FD&C Red 40, gelatin, lactose, titanium dioxide, and other ingredients. Each dosage strength also contains the following:

10 mg—D&C Red 22, D&C Red 28, and FD&C Blue 1;
15 mg—FD&C Yellow 6;
30 mg—D&C Red 28 and FD&C Blue 1.

Serax tablets contain 15 mg oxazepam. The inactive ingredients present are FD&C Yellow 5, lactose, magnesium stearate, methylcellulose and polacrilin potassium. Serax (oxazepam) is 7-chloro-1,3-dihydro-3-hydroxy-5-phenyl-2H-1,4-benzodi-azepin-2-one. A white crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 286.7, its structural formula is as follows:

Serax (oxazepam) structural formula illustration

What are the possible side effects of oxazepam (Serax)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • confusion;
  • unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger;
  • hyperactivity, agitation, hostility;
  • hallucinations;
  • feeling lightheaded, fainting;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • problems with urination.

Less serious side effects may...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Oxazepam »

What are the precautions when taking oxazepam tablets (Oxazepam)?

Before taking oxazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, lung/breathing problems (e.g., COPD, sleep apnea), drug or alcohol abuse.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug,...

Read All Potential Precautions of Oxazepam »

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/24/2017
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Serax - User Reviews

Serax User Reviews

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Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Serax sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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