Compare Valium vs. oxazepam

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Valium
(Diazepam)

Serax
(oxazepam)

Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.Controls anxiety symptoms and alcohol withdrawal. Serax (oxazepam) helps make sure the seizures that happen during alcohol withdrawal don't get worse. Serax (oxazepam) is also good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.15Valium
Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
70%
of people (All ages) say Valium (Diazepam) is worth it
53%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (Diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Serax (oxazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Valiumoxazepam

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »

The oxazepam FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about oxazepam side effects »
How it works
Valiumoxazepam
Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.Serax (oxazepam) is a benzodiazepine. It binds to certain parts of nerves called GABA receptors, and stops the spread of signals that cause anxiety symptoms, or seizures in alcohol withdrawal.
Type of medication
Valiumoxazepam
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Valiumoxazepam
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
Used for
Valiumoxazepam
Risk factors for serious side effects
Valiumoxazepam
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Current liver problems
      Detailed Valium (Diazepam) risks & warnings »
        • Taking opioids
        • People age 65 or older
        • High blood pressure
          Detailed Serax (oxazepam) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy

          Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          Alcohol
          Valiumoxazepam
          • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
          • Not safe to use with alcohol.
          • Serax (oxazepam) is a first choice medicine to treat seizures that can happen in alcohol withdrawal.
          Kidneys and liver
          Valiumoxazepam
          • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
          No kidneys and liver related info.
          Sleep
          Valiumoxazepam
          • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
          • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
          No sleep related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          Valiumoxazepam
          • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
          • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
          • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
          • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
          • Serax (oxazepam) is a first choice medicine to treat seizures that can happen in alcohol withdrawal.
          • Serax (oxazepam) only lasts for a short time, so there's little risk of hangover effects or sleepiness.
          • Serax (oxazepam) is recommended for people who have advanced liver disease because it doesn't affect the liver.
          Downsides and risks
          Valiumoxazepam
          • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
          • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
          • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
          • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
          • Serax (oxazepam) is addictive, so its use for anxiety should be limited to the shortest time possible.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          Valiumoxazepam
          • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
          • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
          • Helpful with muscle spasms.
          • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
          • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
          • Not safe to use with alcohol.
          • Take Serax (oxazepam) exactly as your doctor tells you.
          • If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember; unless it's been more than 1 hour, then skip that dose and take Serax (oxazepam) at the next scheduled time. Don't take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
          • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Serax (oxazepam) affects you since it can make you sleepy. Drinking alcohol can make the sleepiness worse.
          • Serax (oxazepam) for anxiety is only good for 4 months. Talk to your doctor if you're still having anxiety and Serax (oxazepam) hasn't helped.
          Learn more
          More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Valium (Diazepam)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it
          More about oxazepamSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Serax (oxazepam)?
          Worth itNot sureNot worth it