Disclaimer: I am not a medically educated person. This writing is based on my own experience with Oxazepam and information found on the world wide web and included with Oxazepam. In no way should be acted on this article by anyone without consulting a medical expert. I am not responsible in any way if you use the information given.
Oxazepam is a benzodiazepine. It includes brand names such as Alepam, Murelax, Serax, Serepax, Seresta.
March 2003 I was put on Oxazepam because I suffered greatly from anxiety, probably caused by a combination of quitting an antidepressant and having no contact with my kids. I experienced a weird sensation in my stomach, had the feeling that my throat was held tight, sometimes my heartbeat increased and could clearly be felt. I was extremely restless and I felt like I had to run away or do something.
I started off with three times 10mg a day which after some time was increased to three times 20mg a day. After a while I discovered the following about Oxazepam:
Since I had the feeling that I was living from dose to dose and was afraid that I would get very addicted to it, I decided to quit. Over a period of four weeks I went from 3 times 20mg (total 60mg) to four times 10mg (total 40mg) to three times 10mg (total 30mg) a day and then I stopped entirely.
The latter, in my case, was a mistake. Somehow my sleeping pattern got mixed up and after a few days I couldn't sleep during the night. I was awake during the night and slept (badly) during the day. After two weeks I felt exhausted and very depressed. Trying to stay awake and force the normal pattern back was impossible. I had extremely hard times concentrating or doing anything at all. Felt confused, my eyes where very sensitive to light and I felt hot and sweaty. So the doctor was called and I got a prescription for three times 10mg of Oxazepam a day, and a total of ten tablets.
However, my main problem was: lack of sleep and a wrong sleeping pattern. The anxiety problems where less as I tried to avoid the triggers I knew about as much as possible. So after reading some information on the world wide web regarding the use of Oxazepam for sleeping problems, I decided to start with 20mg about 30 minutes before going to bed. And yes, I had an extremely good night and woke up about 9:30 AM and felt very good.
The second day went well too. However, maybe because I felt so good, the third day I was quite manic. I was awake for over 26 hours and again slept during the next day. In the evening I tried to sleep but now only on 10mg since I really wanted to stop, using the 10 tablets only. Gladly I had a good rest.
Even after 7 months I still suffered from a very odd sleeping pattern. I am not sure if this was still a withdrawal effect. An article about benzodiazepines describes, that withdrawal effects can take considerable time to go away entirely. It might be possible that my sleep pattern has become a habbit on its own. However, I had sometimes days that I had no problems at all which is mentioned in the above article. I doubt that the sleeping problems are caused by my depression, since before I started with Oxazepam, I rarely had any problems at all.
Looking back I think the best dose for me would have been four times 10mg a day. This way the effective time of Oxazepam would overlap with the next dose and never trigger the withdrawal symptoms in between. Also I think that going from three times a day a dose to none at all was bad. In my personal experience, after three times 10 mg (total 30mg) I should have taken 20mg 30 minutes before sleep (total 20mg) for several days and then 10mg 30 minutes before sleep (total 10mg) for several days.
Finally, in my personal experience, I consider the withdrawal symptoms I encountered, in combination with depression, quite serious and even dangerous.
I think that it is a good idea to keep an anxiety diary. Every time you feel anxious try to write down what happened. What you did, where you where at that time, sounds, surroundings, smells, as much as possible. In a while you might find some triggers. Knowing triggers makes it possible to avoid them or to be prepared.
At this moment I have no more sleeping problems. After about 8 months of stopping with Oxazepam my sleeping pattern became normal again. Also my depression seems slowly to fade away.