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…
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