What Is Serax?

Serax (oxazepam) is a prescription drug used for anxiety and insomnia treatment, as well as to control alcohol physical and mental symptoms. Classified as a benzodiazepine, Serax has hypnotic, sedative, anticonvulsant, and skeletal muscle relaxant properties. Oxazepam was first introduced to the marketplace in 1965 and is considered a short-to-intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. Serax has a slow onset to take effect. It’s most commonly given to patients who have difficulty staying asleep, as opposed to falling asleep.

Other uses include for people who struggle with irritability, tension, and agitation associated with anxiety disorders. Along with alcohol and drug physical and mental symptoms, Serax is also used for anxiety specifically associated with depression. Off-label Serax uses include for social phobia, premenstrual syndrome, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Side effects are similar to other benzodiazepines. For example, people who use Serax may experience drowsiness, memory impairment, dizziness, and headache.

Before someone is prescribed Serax, there are certain precautions physicians should keep in mind. There is a risk of Serax psychological disease and misuse, so this should be considered in people with drug or alcohol psychological disease or their uncontrolled habits of recurring misuse. It can be dangerous to use benzodiazepines during pregnancy, and side effects of this drug class can create more serious side effects in elderly patients.

How Does Serax Work?

As a benzodiazepine, Serax works in a way similar to other drugs in this class. It binds to benzodiazepine receptors, increasing the effects of Gabapentin (“GABA”) in the central nervous system. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter. Overall it slows brain and central nervous system activity, causing people to feel more relaxed. Oxazepam is an active metabolite of the benzodiazepine drug diazepam. It is believed to be somewhat safer than other benzos because it’s metabolized differently and is less likely to accumulate in the system of the user.

Serax Addiction and Abuse

All benzodiazepines are meant only to be used as short-term treatment options. This is because they have the potential for psychological disease and uncontrolled habit of misuse, and the longer someone uses them, the higher this risk. Serax and other benzos affect the brain and can create feelings of euphoria, a pleasant sense of well-being, or a desirable sense of relaxation. This can cause a reward response in the brain that then leads to uncontrolled devotion of continued misuse. If someone misuses Serax, the risk of an psychological disease developing is more significant. Behavioral signs of Serax overindulgence can include:

  • Taking higher doses than what’s prescribed
  • Taking the drug more often than a doctor prescribes
  • Continuing to take it for longer than directed
  • Combining Serax with other substances to increase the effects
  • Seeming drowsy or confused
  • Coordination problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Concentration problems
  • Memory impairment
  • Slow breathing
  • Changes in mood or mood swings
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Developing a tolerance for the drug and needing more to get the same effect

These signs of Serax don’t have to mean a person has a dedication to the recurrence of misuse to the drug but if these behaviors occur it can mean someone is at risk for uncontrolled obsessive behavior. Drug dedication for continued misuse is a disease, which develops as drugs cause changes in the brain. Any substance that alters the brain temporarily, as Serax does, can be habit forming susceptible to causing dependency. This is always something to be aware of when someone starts using this medication. Signs of Serax psychological disease include:

  • Continuing to misuse Serax despite negative consequences;
  • Misusing Serax compulsively;
  • Drug-seeking behaviors, such as doctor shopping to get new or more prescriptions;
  • Putting a majority of one’s focus on obtaining and misusing Serax;
  • Declining relationships and school or work performance; and
  • Trying to stop misusing Serax and being unsuccessful

Anyone who’s prescribed Serax should speak to their physician about the potential for misuse and uncontrolled devotion to misusing. It is usually only prescribed for a period of four to six weeks. Any treatment needed for longer than that is usually going to come from a different class of drugs, such as SSRIs. If someone follows their doctor’s instructions and uses Serax only for a few weeks there is a low risk of developing a physical need for it. It’s important to note that oxazepam is absorbed slowly and has a slow onset of action. This does lower the potential for misuse as compared to other benzodiazepines like triazolam, which have a higher potential for misuse.

If you or your loved one could be struggling with Serax psychological disease or uncontrolled dedication to any substance, the best thing to do is contact The Recovery Village. We can explain the treatment options available, how rehabilitation works, and answer specific questions you may have such as how to pay for rehabilitation.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.