Generic name: Oxazepam.

Serax is a benzodiazepine tranquilizer. It reduces the activity of certain chemicals in the brain.

Quick Facts About Serax


Used to treat anxiety disorders. Very effective for anxiety, tension, agitation, and irritability in seniors. Also used to treat acute alcohol withdrawal.

Serax Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed.

  • Usual adult dose:  for mild to moderate anxiety with tension, irritability, agitation — 10 to 15 milligrams taken 3 or 4 times per day. For severe anxiety, depression with anxiety, alcohol withdrawal — 15 to 30 milligrams taken 3 or 4 times per day. Seniors — 10 milligrams taken 3 times per day. Doctor may increase up to 15 milligrams taken 3 or 4 times per day.
  • Usual child dose: doctor will determine dosage on an individual basis for children 6 to 12 years. Not prescribed for children under 6 years.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, if within an hour of scheduled time. Otherwise, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Serax Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

no specific information available. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

Most common side effect: drowsiness.

Less common or rare Serax side effects: blood disorders, change in sex drive, dizziness, excitement, fainting, headache, hives, liver problems, loss or lack of muscle control, nausea, skin rashes, sluggishness or unresponsiveness, slurred speech, swelling due to fluid retention, tremors, vertigo, yellowed eyes and skin. Side effects due to sudden withdrawal from Serax: abdominal and muscle cramps, convulsions, depressed mood, inability to fall or stay asleep, sweating, tremors, vomiting.


Inform your doctor before combining Serax with:

antihistamines such as Benadryl, narcotic painkillers such as Percocet and Demerol, sedatives such as Seconal and Halcion, tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax.

Avoid alcohol during Serax therapy. Serax intensifies the effects of alcohol.

Special Cautions

Do not take if pregnant or planning to become pregnant Serax increases the risk of birth defects. May appear in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

Seniors are generally prescribed lower doses.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children 6 to 12 years. Not generally prescribed for children under 6 years.

  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Inform your doctor before starting Serax if you have any heart problems: may cause drop in blood pressure.
  • Before taking Serax, inform your doctor of any aspirin allergies or other allergies. May be at increase: risk for allergic reaction to coloring agent used 15-milligram tablet.
  • May be addictive and lose effectiveness over the long term. May also develop a tolerance to Serax. Doctor will gradually reduce dose at the end of therapy to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Avoid if sensitive to or allergic to Serax or other tranquilizers such as Valium.
  • Not used to treat everyday tension or anxiety.
  • Should not use if you are under treatment for mental. disorders more serious than anxiety.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Serax side effects, please contact your healthcare provider