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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Oxazepam Dose?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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An appropriate oxazepam dose can depend on how well a patient responds to the medication and whether underlying medical issues might cause a negative interaction. This benzodiazepine medication can be used to manage anxiety, both independently and in association with depression. A medical provider may recommend slowly increasing the dose to find the lowest possible therapeutic level, as this can help the patient avoid side effects. Patients shouldn’t abruptly stop taking the medication, because they can experience withdrawal symptoms.

Generally, a typical oxazepam dose range can be between 10 and 30 milligrams. People with mild anxiety typically need between 10 and 15 milligrams, while severe anxiety, especially if it is complicated by depression, may necessitate a dose at the higher end of the scale. Patients start at a low dose to get accustomed to the medication and gradually increase to determine if it is effective. If they respond well, the dosage can be noted and used as a baseline for the patient until something changes.

Older adults can be more sensitive to benzodiazepines, in which case they may need a lower oxazepam dose for their safety. This can also be a concern in very young children, who may not be able to clear the medication as quickly as adults. Other issues that can influence dosing can include liver or kidney impairment, other medications, and related mental health problems; sometimes sedating medications can cause unexpected side effects like agitation or extreme fatigue.

It is generally not advisable to combine oxazepam and alcohol. Patients who drink frequently and heavily should discuss this with their medical practitioners to determine if the medication would be safe for them. If someone has concerns about drinking and wants to stop, this can provide an opportunity to discuss options. One of the uses of oxazepam is actually in the treatment of anxiety associated with treatment for alcohol dependence, in which case it may be discussed as an option for a patient preparing to stop drinking.

When patients find that this medication is no longer effective or necessary, or they want to try a different drug, they need to transition with care. They can start slowly cutting the oxazepam dose over time to give the body time to adjust. In some cases, another benzodiazepine may be provided as a bridge medication to help the patient quit. Eventually, the oxazepam dose can be reduced to zero and the patient can start taking a new drug or pursuing other therapies.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
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