All about Xanax
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Xanax vs OxazepamSerax (oxazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) are medications mainly treating anxiety. They both refer to the group of benzodiazepines. Serax is a brand name for oxazepam, and the same thing is with Xanax – it’s a brand title for alprazolam at the market. These drugs have similar characteristics, as well as dissimilitude.

Is Serax like Xanax?

As has been mentioned earlier, both of these two drugs are benzodiazepines, and they consequently both fall into the category of CNS depressants. Though, they work quite differently. Oxazepam is prescribed for anxiety treatment. Also, it’s often used in cases of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Xanax is benzodiazepine that deals with anxiety and panic disorders, less often anxiety provoked by depression. It interacts with chemicals in the brain and leads them towards the relative balance.

Forms and Dosage

Oxazepam (Serax) is usually produced in the form of disintegrating tablets (capsule wafers), half of which is white, another half can be of different colors, depending on the dosage. It is taken usually 3-4 times per day, daily dose is usually 10-30 mg. Serax wafers are available in the strength:

  • 10 mg (half or totally pink capsule)
  • 15 mg (half or whole red)
  • 30 mg (half or whole wine-colored, or half orange – it varies according to the producer)

Serax is taken without or with food (to reduce indigestion). It is important to take it strictly at the same time each day.

Xanax requires taking 1 or more times per day (with or without food), the extended-release version is taken only once a day. Tablets are uncoated, with a center dimple for easy bisecting. Double convex, debossed title on one side. Xanax pills have such strength:

  • 0.25 mg (white color, elliptic form tablet)
  • 0.5 mg (light orange, elliptic)
  • 1 mg (light blue, elliptic)
  • 2 mg (white color, a rectangle with rounded edges)

Extended-release tablets have the following strength:

A liquid form of 1 mg/mL dosage is available as well.

Probably, the physician would prescribe you an initial dose of the lowest possible measure, and then it can be slightly increased, if this would be necessary.

What about Costs?

It is obvious that braded drugs are more expensive than their generic analogues. The price may vary depending on the place where they are produced and sold. Also, your health insurance plan predetermines the ultimate price.

Oxazepam is available in packages of 30-180 quantity of tablets. For instance, 10 mg dosage packages’ costs vary from $8.85 to $61.95.

Brand-name version Serax costs from $28.90 to $176.10.

Average price per 10 mg Serax pill is $1.02, $1.20 for the 15 mg pill, and $1.25 for the generic 30 mg pill.

With an informational purpose, it can be mentioned that a pill of 1mg Xanax has an average cost of $2.35, encasements of 30 to 360 pills are available.

Packages costs vary from $82.00 to $701.00.

Price per 2 mg Xanax pill on average is $2.85, packages prices vary from $100.00 to $860.00.

 

In larger packs the tablet is usually cheaper than in small ones.

Side Effects: Xanax vs Serax

As well as almost all medications, these two also have side effects. Let’s compare the most frequently occurring kinds:

           Xanax vs Oxazepam
common side effects (don’t require medical attention if aren’t burdensome)
drowsiness drowsiness
partial loss of coordination dizziness
indistinct speech headache
memory problems sleeping difficulties, having nightmares
constipation problems with stomach
increased/decreased appetite
feeling anxious in the morning
serious side effects (require immediate informing a doctor)
confusion confusion
depression depression
uncontrolled muscle movements, convulsions uncontrolled muscle movements
fluttering in the chest movement difficulties
restlessness
lightheadedness
extraordinary demeanour
hallucinations
eyes or skin yellowing

It’s not a full list, but there have been mentioned the most widespread cases. Both medications have much in common. The difference between Xanax and Serax is that Serax has a larger quantity of by-effects.

Warnings and Interactions: Serax Compared to Xanax

Either medication has some risks. Let’s classify the factors provoking serious side effects for alprazolam vs oxazepam:

Xanax (alprazolam) risk factors Serax (oxazepam) risk factors
personal or family prior history of drugs/alcohol abuse personal or family history of drugs abuse
taking with alcohol or drugs taking with alcohol or drugs
large doses (more than 4 mg per day) or longer than 3 months large doses or longer than 4 months
unexpected stop of taking Xanax mixing Serax and Xanax or taking other similar medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems (diazepam, lorazepam, triazolam etc.)
taking Xanax with Serax or other similar medicines for anxiety barbiturate medications for treating seizures
severe depression medicines for mental problems
prescription pain relievers

Can you take Xanax with Serax?

The question ‘can you mix Xanax and Serax’ has rather a negative answer than a positive one. Benzodiazepines are advised not to be used at the same time, as they may intensify impact of each other and this can lead to serious side effects. So, mixing Oxazepam and Xanax is not recommended at all.

! Inform your physician about every medication and supplement you ingest, and find out which interactions are safe or harmful for you.

Precautions & Contraindications Based on Medical History

It is better not to take Xanax or Serax for people of such risk groups:

Xanax Serax
people with depression people with kidney disease
those who have liver problems people with liver problems
people with acute narrow-angle glaucoma those who suffer from bipolar disorder
people with a prior history of alcohol/drug addiction people that have an unusual or allergic reaction to benzodiazepines
people with a prior history of personality disorder people who have acute narrow-angle glaucoma
obese people pregnant women or trying to get pregnant
people with severe lung disease breast-feeding women
pregnant women elderly people
breast-feeding women children younger than 13 years
elderly people
children younger than 18 years

 

Taking Oxazepam while Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Both Oxazepam and Xanax can cause birth defects. There is a risk that a fetus can get a drug addiction and then need a treatment. The drugs can get into the breast milk, and negatively affect the health of a fetus.

Dependence, Overdose, Withdrawal

Xanax and Serax should be used only for a short time. These two may be addictive, if they are taken for a long term (Xanax more than 3 months, Oxazepam longer than 4 months).

An overdose of oxazepam or alprazolam can be fatal.

Dependence can make you demand larger amount of the drug for getting a previous effect. If you take these medications regularly for some period, do not abruptly stop taking them, or dramatically decrease the dose. Otherwise, you may pass through withdrawal.

Both in cases of taking Xanax and Oxazepam symptoms of a withdrawal can include:

  • increasing anxiety
  • seizures, muscle cramp
  • panic attacks
  • confusion
  • alvine flux
  • problems with vision.

Symptoms of overdose can be the following:

Xanax vs. Serax
hypernormal drowsiness hypernormal drowsiness
clouding of consciousness clouding of consciousness
poor coordination lack of coordination
slow reflexes weakness, tiredness
hypotension light-headed
coma faintness
coma

If you notice serious side effects or some of the overdose symptoms, please immediately seek for medical advice.

Dr. Andrew J. Olson

Author: Dr. Andrew J. Olson

Dr. Andrew J. Olson is a PHD in psychiatry. He is also a psychiatrist consultant at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. He also serves as a Clinical Director of the Department of Psychiatry, at Royal Marsden Hospital, in London, UK.


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Serax (oxazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) are medications mainly treating anxiety. They both refer to the group of benzodiazepines. Serax is a brand name for oxazepam, and the same thing is with Xanax – it’s a brand title for alprazolam at the market. These drugs have similar characteristics, as well as dissimilitude. Is Serax like Xanax? As has been mentioned earlier, both of these two drugs are benzodiazepines, and they consequently both fall into the category of CNS depressants. Though, they work quite differently. Oxazepam is prescribed for anxiety treatment. Also, it’s often used in cases of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Xanax…
Author Review

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  • Critic of Journalism

    Stay away from Xanax. The withdrawal symptoms are not highlighted enough. Its a dangerous process. Having been through it my opinion is that this drug should not be on the market in any form or shape.

    • Ian Fernandez-Caldas

      Why would you say that? Have you read the articles that talk about all the positive things about alprazolam? To say to ‘remove it in anyway shape or form’ is quite of an undereducated opinion, or a complete ignorant opinion at that. When weighing the pros and cons of a substance we must objectively see how people’s lives either better or worsen,- the medical value it has to that patient- and if it is actually dettering the main problem it was prescribed for.

      It’s important to value the good things, the good discoveries of modern medicine whether that data release of clinical studies be data we are not in favor of in the case that we do take Alprazolam for example (negative information we aren’t interested in believing because we take the medication daily, or often abuse it); or whether being in favor of clinical data released where studies prove that Alprazolam has more benefits and multiple uses.

      We must listen to both sides objectively and empirically, only resorting to the facts and data of the clinical studies of the modern day (and sometimes the past) in order to obtain a solid foundation/opinion about this subject (the subject being whether Xanax should be removed from the market after having all sorts of safe profiles attributed to it, and having such a wide arrange of medical uses demonstrated by science) without resulting to speculation or myth.

      Withdrawal symptoms happen to those who do not follow their doctor’s instructions and, yes, while these withdrawal symptoms can be complicated, a high percentage of people who take their Xanax as they’re prescribed (not more than 4 months straight of use) do not develop these issues that the drug itself has gotten a bad rap for. In actuality it’s the user/abuser/patient who is responsible for these withdrawal symptoms because of lack of understanding or lack of making the correct choices when consuming (addiction) responsibly.

      So we can hardly blame the chemical Alprazolam which works wonders for many people, what we CAN however is blame the doctor’s prescribing the medication incorrectly to people with historical or latent substance abuse problems. Instead of banning Alprazolam let’s look closer before we go removing valid medicines and find out the true problem here: Addiction. Addiction leads to different social problems and although addiction is the number one cause of drugrelated death overdoses in the USA and other parts of the world, usually the drugs themselves aren’t the ones to blame, but in most cases are the people manipulating substances and selling them without a recreational licence make mistakes when cutting and adding additives which can result in fatal reactions to these streetsold drugs, they exist for a reason, they are not perfect but we try and make them as close to perfect as possible (less amount of side effects etc.), so having a pure and potent chemical with medicinal value (although dangerous) isn’t the cause of -Timmy’s overdose-, the cause of Timmy’s overdose is, well, Timmy.

      So how about we regulate the people that are given access to these -dangerous chemicals-?? We should issue drug-use licences for those people educated enough to demonstrate responsibility, knowledge and studies (in some cases certain genetics affect addiction), and sufficient experience to know the real information from the misinformation about substance consumption and abuse. For those who wouldn’t be able to acquire such licences, wouldn’t be allowed to possess certain medications recreationally, so as to prevent unwanted deaths and accidents as well as ongoing addiction index rises caused by irresponsible people or uneducated/uninformed people; if he or she needed to be on one of these medications in question, medically, he/she would have to be approved by a person administered by a pharmacist or a doctor for long-term healthcare use. So you would have 2 licenses, one for recreational use that would allow for personal substance consumption of all kinds while having to demonstrate in front of a jury every so often your right to carry this licence, which would be defended by logical, sensible, valid, and up-to-date demonstrations by the licence holder to prove periodically that he/she is capable of maintaining said authorization (only good for recreational value); and the second being the license doctors and pharmacists would acquire to be able to provide people their medication, where they would have to go to a center every few days to get the doses needed to last for a short period of time and then return after that period is over to re-up on the medication, very limitedly having access to substances otherwise obtainable easier and with less restrictions than with a substance-use license. All this latter talk about recreational licences and what not is completely utopian, but it gives a lot to think about. Maybe possibly in some far future this may be a reality, which in my honest opinion would put and end to ilegal drug smuggling and drug violence since the drugs would be acquired in a more professional and controlled manner, exempting the need for overpriced dirty and harmful street drugs, or at least greatly diminishing the attractiveness of said dirty drugs. Power over one’s life and body comes through knowledge. The more universal truths you know, the better prepared you will be to take the correct decisions when using recreational drugs. Seek to learn day by day and challenge our current system to try to change it to a more logical and free system, hopefully someday we will obtain free trade drug laws and be able to clean up this filthy mess Big Pharma and the doctors have left for us to clean up.

      • Critic of Journalism

        Why would I say that?? for starters I’m not a drug addict and the fact that one is almost immediately addicted after use with this drug is what makes me say so. 4 months you say? If you use it according to the doctors indications you would use a mild controlled dosage, BUT STILL ADDICTED TO IT FROM THE WORD GO. That is a fact. If you use it as the doctor indicates then you don’t get symptoms that could be consider for abuse, meaning a ‘Hi’. BUT you feel better whilst the drug slowly takes over your life. Now lets talk about the ‘complicated’ withdrawal you say. I wonder if you have experienced this as it sounds like you read something and not done it yourself. After 48 hours you get fever and hallucinations which I’m sure can drive some mad. Then after 4 days you start dealing with issues surrounding your senses. You feel detached from your extremities, your sense of touch is shot, you loose taste for a while and you can’t seem to get your sleep cycle back to normal. Keep in mind that I’m not a drug addicted but used the drug as its prescribed. Its been 1 year now and I still have some problems with some of my senses and only now getting a sleep cycle back to normal. Compare this to the withdrawals that you see in serious abuse drugs and they don’t indicated that it’s got the long term PHYSICAL damage that you get on the withdrawal of this drug.