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Oxazepam Withdrawal

Oxazepam is a sedative used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, and alcohol withdrawal. It falls into a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and has the potential to be highly addictive. While it can treat symptoms of anxiety, it can exacerbate them as well during withdrawal. Benzos are among the most widely prescribed drugs, due to their calming features. Oxazepam, which also goes by Serax, is one of the more popular brands in the United States. 

It’s common that ailments like insomnia or anxiety are treated with depressant medications, but you are likely to develop a tolerance or dependence in a short period. The medication works on our central nervous system by causing a calming and soothing effect in our brain. Oxazepam is recommended for use in short periods and taken any longer than three weeks can produce adverse consequences.

There has been an uptick in benzodiazepine prescriptions in the last several years, and experts warn of an impending benzo crisis that could soon haunt the country. Doctors in 2003 wrote 3.8 percent of all benzo prescriptions, and it steadily increased to 7.4 in 2015. It’s crucial to be aware of what these seemingly harmless medications can do to your body.

What Are the Oxazepam Withdrawal Symptoms?

You must keep in mind that everyone will experience varying degrees of withdrawal. There are many reasons why this occurs – it depends on the dose of Oxazepam and how long the person was using it. These are some of the most important factors when determining the severity of withdrawal. 

Quitting “cold turkey” will result in a very uncomfortable process for the user because the withdrawal symptoms can turn deadly.

Common symptoms associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle aches
  • Seizures
  • Numbness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Dysphoria
  • Motor impairment

Many Oxazepam users are unaware that withdrawal can cause fatalities, similar to alcohol. It’s a serious issue that most people don’t take into consideration when they start using the medicine. The symptoms can range from mild to dangerous, including death. 

Becoming addicted to Oxazepam can present issues extending past the withdrawal stage. These can also occur during active use. Some of the consequences are brain damage, reduced cognition, memory loss, and blackouts. In some cases, the chemical imbalance in the brain will cause suicidal thoughts, psychosis, and delirium. 

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What Are the Stages in the Withdrawal Timeline?

Due to Oxazepam’s status as a benzodiazepine, the timeline will be similar to other benzos. The symptoms have the potential to be severe. A person must strongly consider checking into a recovery program.

Below is the withdrawal timeline for people taking oxazepam.


During the first 24 hours, the individual will experience uncomfortable feelings associated with benzo withdrawal. The initial stage is mild and will include anxiety, depression, restlessness, and muscle aches.

They are likely to start within the first six to 12 hours. 


The withdrawal process for benzos is extensive. Symptoms will peak in the first week, which includes sweating, intense nausea, muscle pain and feeling ill. 

Many people relapse in the first week. Others may experiment with other drugs to combat withdrawal symptoms. Mixing alcohol, marijuana, or opiates is very common. 

The first four days can bring an increased risk of seizures and suicidal thoughts, which may be overwhelming.


The symptoms that started intensely will start to dissipate. Some symptoms can linger for months or years.

In certain cases, some people have had these recurring symptoms for up to two years.

You must never stop using any drug cold turkey, and Oxazepam or any other benzodiazepine is no exception. The physical and psychological effects of withdrawal symptoms are not worth dying over.

Professional medical supervision is necessary to safeguard your health. Treatment for these powerful symptoms is needed to achieve a full recovery, and medically supervised detox is recommended.

Why Should I Detox?

Detoxification, or detox for short, is the medical process in which the body is cleared of toxins and other harmful substances under medical supervision. Detox is the only way of ensuring that someone does not relapse or try other potentially dangerous drugs. By enrolling in a professional addiction treatment program, the client will have a program tailored to address their specific needs. 

Quitting Cold Turkey

It means stopping a routine of a certain substance, in this case, Oxazepam. The issue with quitting any substance suddenly is that the individual develops a tolerance, which will cause harsh withdrawal symptoms.

In most cases, people cannot tolerate the physical and psychological feelings of withdrawal. People stop taking drugs for different reasons, but either way, you will experience symptoms.

The best way to make sure a person finds themselves ending their addiction is by visiting an addiction specialist. A doctor will recommend a detox treatment plan that will help them ease through the withdrawal phase. making it bearable.

By breaking the cycle of addiction with clinical attention, the client will transition through this phase of treatment with supervision smoothly.

Shadowy figures in a distorted hallway

What is the Next Treatment Step?

Many people may wonder what comes after the detoxification process. The truth is that many times, the detox treatment usually goes hand in hand with a series of other treatments, such as behavioral therapy.

However, the process itself can be administered in a way that is tailored to the client.

Individuals who may not be considered as having a severe substance use disorder may resort to entering an outpatient program. These programs consist of applying treatment and undergoing a series of medical procedures without the hassle of being monitored 24/7. A professional will often come to terms with the client as to when they need to visit the facility for their treatment.

However, since many clients of Oxazepam need strong clinical help, they may consider residential treatment programs. These are beneficial to individuals who require additional assistance. People often enter these programs when they need 30, 60, or 90-plus days of medical detox or therapy. 



Sources

“Oxazepam – Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions – Drugs – Everyday Health.” Stroke Center – EverydayHealth.com, Ziff Davis, LLC, 28 Sept. 2016, from www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/oxazepam

“Oxazepam Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing.” WebMD, WebMD, from www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-8347/oxazepam-oral/details

“Oxazepam: MedlinePlus Drug Information.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, from medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682050.html

Penn, A. (2019, February 19). Are Benzodiazepines the Next Opioid Crisis? Retrieved from https://www.psychcongress.com/article/are-benzodiazepines-next-opioid-crisis

Agarwal, S. D. (2019, January 25). Patterns in Outpatient Benzodiazepine Prescribing in the United States. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2722576

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