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Oxazepam Poisoning in a Child

Peter M. Shimkin, MD; Stephen A. Shaivitz, MD
JAMA. 1966;196(7):662-663. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100200102036.
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OXAZEPAM (Serax) is a recently introduced drug with pharmacologic and therapeutic properties similar to other members of the benzodiazepine group, eg, chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (Librium), and diazepam (Valium).1,2 Troublesome side effects of the earlier compounds have included ataxia, lethargy, drowsiness, paradoxical irritability, nausea, headache, vertigo, decreased libido, enuresis, edema, skin rash, physical dependence, and agranulocytosis. Most frequently observed have been drowsiness and ataxia, especially in the aged; agranulocytosis has been rare.3 Oxazepam has been reported to produce lower incidence of these side effects, especially ataxia, at comparable doses.4 Reports of overdosage as yet are few.

Report of a Case  A 2-year-old, 28-lb (12.8-kg), Negro girl was admitted to the hospital 18 hours after she had been fed six 15-mg oxazepam capsules by her 4-year-old sister. Three hours after ingestion, at bedtime, she fell out of bed twice before going to sleep. Twice thereafter she awoke screaming and terrified.


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