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Oxazepam is used to relieve anxiety, including anxiety caused by alcohol withdrawal (symptoms that may develop in people who stop drinking alcohol after drinking large amounts for a long time), and insomnia (sleeplessness).

How it works

Oxazepam belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow for relaxation.

Common side effects

Drowsiness, Altered libido, Change in appetite, Fatigue, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Restlessness, Stomach upset, Suicidal behaviors, Nightmare


Expert advice

  • Before taking oxazepam, tell your doctor if you have any breathing problems, glaucoma (increased eye pressure), porphyria (a rare blood pigment disorder affecting skin and other organs), kidney or liver disease, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
  • Oxazepam can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than that advised.
  • Oxazepam may cause drowsiness, which may be worse if you take it with alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Oxazepam tablets.
  • Oxazepam may cause dizziness or sleepiness or may affect your concentration. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • You may become tolerant to oxazepam. If you notice that this medicine is not working as well for you as it did previously, talk to your doctor immediately.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. Is oxazepam a benzodiazepine or a narcotic?
Oxazepam belongs to benzodiazepine group of medicines and it is not a narcotic.
Q. Is oxazepam addictive?
Yes, oxazepam is addictive. If used more than 4 weeks without a break, there is a risk of becoming dependent or of having problems when you stop taking.
Q. Is oxazepam a metabolite of diazepam/clonazepam?
Yes, oxazepam is a metabolite of diazepam but not of clonazepam.
Q. Can I take oxazepam with mirtazapine/ Zoloft/ tramadol/ diazepam/ antibiotics?
Oxazepam may interact with these medications. Kindly follow doctors instructions. 
Q. Is oxazepam the same as valium/Xanax?
Oxazepam and valium/Xanax, all belong to same class of medicines called benzodiazepines, and have similar effect on brain. However, consult your doctor for specific indications of each medicine.
Q. Does oxazepam lower blood pressure/ cause weight loss or weight gain / make you sleepy/ get you high/ cause diarrhea?
Oxazepam may cause these side effects. Call your doctor if you experience any unusual problems during your treatment with oxazepam.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)