Oxazepam Withdrawal

Oxazepam (brand name Serax) is a type of medication known as a benzodiazepine. It is a sedative that works by calming the central nervous system, and it is commonly prescribed for insomnia and anxiety.

About 50 million benzodiazepine prescriptions are written each year in the United States. Addiction to benzodiazepines is common. In fact, about 11,000 deaths due to benzodiazepine overdose occurred in 2016. 

Once someone develops a tolerance to benzodiazepines like oxazepam, it can be easy to slide into addiction. The body craves it more, and it is hard to stop taking.  Withdrawal is uncomfortable and difficult. Learn more below about oxazepam withdrawal and how to get treatment.

What Are the Oxazepam Withdrawal Symptoms?

Like the withdrawal syndrome caused by other benzodiazepines, oxazepam withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Irritability
  • Increase in tension and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Hand tremor
  • Sweating
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Dry heaves
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Seizures
  • Psychotic reactions



What Are the Stages of the Oxazepam Withdrawal Timeline?

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can occur in different patterns, which can also happen with oxazepam withdrawal. Oxazepam withdrawal usually falls under a “rebound” pattern but, depending on how long someone has been abusing it or how much they have been taking, oxazepam withdrawal symptoms may also result in a more difficult form of withdrawal known as withdrawal syndrome.

If someone also has a co-occurring dependence on another substance such as alcohol or other sedatives, withdrawal may be even more difficult.

The oxazepam withdrawal timeline may include:


  • Occurs within one to four days after stopping the drug
  • Symptoms include anxiety and depression

Withdrawal Syndrome:

  • Usually lasts about 10 to 14 days
  • Includes a spectrum of symptoms, which may include: tremors, sleep disturbance, weight loss, mood disturbance, sweating, and vision problems.

A third pattern known as protracted withdrawal syndrome may also develop after a couple of weeks of withdrawal. This primarily includes feelings of anxiety that may last for months after last taking the drug.

Why Should I Detox?

It can be difficult and painful to quit using drugs cold turkey, and in some cases, including oxazepam withdrawal, it can be dangerous.

Although quitting cold turkey may seem like a good idea, withdrawing on your own without professional medical help can be very challenging given the difficult physical and psychological symptoms. Finding a professional, medically-assisted detox program to support you during oxazepam withdrawal ensures that you will be carefully monitored in a safe environment while your body goes through the difficult, and sometimes painful, detoxification process.

Oxazepam Withdrawal

Going through an addiction treatment program also positions you for a better chance at lasting recovery because of the structured medical and emotional support provided.

What is the Next Treatment Step?

While it’s possible to just go through a medical detox and not do further treatment or continue with an outpatient program, your odds for successful recovery are much higher if you go through a complete addiction treatment program. This is known as following a full continuum of treatment.

Following a full continuum of treatment begins with the highest and most intense level of care during the detox phase and then progresses through less intense levels of treatment. These stages usually include: detox/inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and alumni or aftercare.


The goal during the first stage of withdrawal treatment is medical stabilization. This stage usually lasts about one to two weeks and includes 24/7 clinical monitoring.

Your medical team, which includes doctors, nurses, and support staff, will give you a complete medical assessment to determine your level of addiction and any additional medical needs you may have. This will include a medical exam and urine or blood tests to screen for drugs.

Depending on these results, your doctor may also require additional testing such as: additional blood tests, including a CBC (complete blood count), chest X-ray, ECG (electrocardiogram), and testing for other diseases.

A personalized detox plan will be created for you once the doctor has reviewed all of your test results. Then you will begin the detox process under the care of your medical team.

Your treatment plan will also include emotional support as you begin addiction therapy because many people also experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional and psychological challenges as they detox.  

If you’re suffering from co-occurring physical or mental health conditions or you have an addiction to another substance, your doctor may recommend that you continue with further inpatient care after completing detox.


The next stage after completing the detox stage is to continue treatment in a partial hospitalization program (PHP). During this stage, you’ll live at a transitional living facility while undergoing a supportive, rigorous, and structured treatment program five days a week for six hours each day. You will be able to focus solely on your recovery and participate in individual, group, and family therapy programs to address your emotional and mental health needs. The goal during this stage will be to learn positive life skills, coping mechanisms, and techniques to help prevent relapse so that you will be better prepared for long-term recovery. This training will help you begin the process of returning to your life outside the treatment center.  


As you progress through each stage of the full continuum of treatment, you will build the skills and resources you need to cope and avoid relapsing. Once you have completed the PHP stage, you will move into the intensive outpatient program (IOP) stage.

Sometimes outpatient treatment is used as standalone addiction therapy, but it is also a key part of a full continuum of treatment. At this stage, your therapy sessions won’t be as frequent and the program will be more flexible. You will still attend intensive therapy sessions and continue with medication management if needed. This stage of treatment will help you continue to be accountable for your recovery. It will also include periodic weekly testing. The main focus of IOP is to continue to build coping skills and prevent relapse.


Once you complete the treatment program, you will have the opportunity to join other treatment center alumni during weekly support groups and social events. Meeting other program graduates can help you develop new friendships and build social support with others who understand the recovery process. Your new support network can help you grow and stay focused on your recovery as you continue to adjust to life after the treatment program and take on new responsibilities.  

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you’re ready to start a safe withdrawal from oxazepam, contact the admissions specialists at Ocean Breeze Recovery today for free and confidential help. They can provide the guidance and support you need to start your recovery by walking you through the process and answering any questions you may have. After speaking with a specialist, you will know what to expect from our evidence-based services and feel confident to make an informed decision about your treatment plans.

Our specialists can also check with your private health insurance to see if your treatment costs will be fully covered. Call us today at (855) 960-5341 and let us help you get started on your journey to recovery.