Compare oxazepam vs. chlordiazepoxide

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

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Serax (oxazepam)

Prescription only
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.

Reduces anxiety.

Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is good for lowering anxiety since its effects aren't as strong as similar medicines; however, it lasts longer in the body and can be more dangerous in older people.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is available as a generic.
  • Because Librium (chlordiazepoxide) lasts longer in the body, it's preferred for alcohol withdrawal since it's less likely to cause seizures.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) can be used by itself, or with antidepressants to help lower anxiety.
Downsides
  • Serax (oxazepam) is addictive, so its use for anxiety should be limited to the shortest time possible.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) lasts much longer in older people, so it's not safe to use if you're age 65 or older.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is not as strong as similar medicines, so it's only really useful to calm anxiety and for alcohol withdrawal.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) can be addictive, so you should use it for as short of a time as possible.
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Dosage forms
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Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Serax (oxazepam) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Librium (chlordiazepoxide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Breathing problems, coma, and death
    • Taking opioids
  • Low blood pressure
    • People age 65 or older
    • High blood pressure
  • Behavior changes
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Withdrawal symptoms
    • Taking Librium (chlordiazepoxide) for more than 2 weeks
  • Drowsiness and sleepiness
    • Drinking alcohol or taking narcotics
  • Addiction
See more detailed risks and warnings