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Oxazepam and Alcohol

If you drink alcohol during treatment with oxazepam, you may be at an increased risk of side effects such as unusual behavior, problems with coordination, and low blood pressure (hypotension). Combining alcohol and oxazepam may also slow the heart rate and breathing, causing a person to have difficulty breathing or to pass out -- or even possibly leading to loss of life. Because of these risks, it is not recommended that you drink alcohol while you are taking oxazepam.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Oxazepam?

Oxazepam (Serax®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a group of medications called benzodiazepines. Alcohol and oxazepam are both central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants), which means that they slow down brain activity. Drinking alcohol while taking oxazepam may increase your risk of serious reactions and side effects. In general, drinking alcohol while on oxazepam is not recommended. Additionally, many people with mental illness are recommended to avoid alcohol.

Oxazepam and Alcohol Side Effects

Drinking alcohol while taking oxazepam may increase your risk of certain oxazepam side effects, such as:
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Memory problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual behavior
  • Problems with coordination.
It may also slow both the heart and breathing, which can cause you to pass out or have difficulty breathing -- or may even lead to death. You may also be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol if you are taking oxazepam. You may not be able to safely drink as much alcohol as you were used to drinking in the past.
Oxazepam is approved to treat anxiety. Generally, it is best for people with mental illnesses (such as anxiety) to avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol may worsen mental illness and is often a form of "self-medication."
Oxazepam is also approved to treat alcohol withdrawal. Clearly, you should not drink alcohol if you are taking oxazepam to help treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
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