What is Lorazepam?
Lorazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. This results in a reduction in nervous tension.
Lorazepam is used to treat anxiety or anxiety associated with symptoms of depression.
Lorazepam may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.
Important information about Lorazepam
Don`t use this medication if you are sensitive to Lorazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax). This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Don`t use Lorazepam if you are heavy with child.
Before using Lorazepam, tell your physician if you have any breathing problems, glaucoma, kidney or liver disease, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Don`t drink alcohol while using Lorazepam. This medicine can increase the effects of alcohol.
Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy. They can add to sleepiness caused by Lorazepam.
Lorazepam may become addiction and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Lorazepamshould never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Before using Lorazepam
Don`t use Lorazepam if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, or if you are allergic to Lorazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax).
Before using Lorazepam, tell your physician if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
- kidney or liver disease;
- a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
- A history of drug or alcohol addiction.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.
Lorazepam can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Don`t use Lorazepam without your physician’s consent if you are pregnant. Tell your physician if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. It is not known whether Lorazepam passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Don`t use this medication without telling your physician if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The sedative effects of Lorazepam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are usingLorazepam. Don`t give this medication to a child younger than 12 years old.
How should I take Lorazepam?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Don`t take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your physician. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your physician may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Measure the liquid form of Lorazepam with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you Don`t have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Lorazepam should be used for only a short time. Don`t take this medication for longer than 4 months without your physician’s advice. This medication may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Lorazepam should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Contact your physician if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms. Don`t stop using Lorazepam suddenly without first talking to your physician. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Your symptoms may return when you stop using Lorazepam after using it over a long period of time. You may also have seizures or withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Lorazepam. Withdrawal symptoms may include tremor, sweating, muscle cramps, stomach pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and seizure (convulsions).
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects; your physician may need to check your progress on a regular basis. Don`t miss any scheduled visits to your physician.
Store Lorazepam at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Store the liquid form ofLorazepam in the refrigerator.
Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Benzodiazepines are drugs of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Don`t take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose ofLorazepam can be fatal.
Symptoms of a Lorazepam overdose may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, fainting, or coma.
What should I avoid while using Lorazepam?
Don`t drink alcohol while using Lorazepam. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Lorazepamcan cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by Lorazepam. Tell your physician if you regularly use any of these other medicines.
What are the possible side effects of Lorazepam?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Lorazepam: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your physician at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- hyperactivity, agitation, hostility;
- hallucinations; or
- Feeling light-headed, fainting.
Less serious Lorazepam side effects may include:
- drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness;
- blurred vision;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- muscle weakness, lack of balance or coordination;
- amnesia or forgetfulness, trouble concentrating;
- nausea, vomiting, constipation;
- appetite changes; or
- Skin rash.
This is not a complete list of Lorazepam side effects and others may occur. Tell your physician about any unusual or bothersome side effect.
What other drugs will affect Lorazepam?
Before using Lorazepam, tell your physician if you are using any of the following drugs:
- a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
- an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);
- medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril);
- narcotic medications such as butorphanol (Stadol), codeine, hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), levorphanol (Levo-Dromoran), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), naloxone (Narcan), oxycodone (OxyContin), propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet); or
- antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Asendin), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), protriptyline (Vivactil), sertraline (Zoloft), or trimipramine (Surmontil).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Lorazepam. Tell your physician about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other physicians. Don`t start using a new medication without telling your physician.
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Lorazepam.
What does my medication look like?
Lorazepam is available with a prescription under the brand name Ativan. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.
- Ativan 0.5 mg – five-sided, white tablets with a raised “A” on one side
- Ativan 1 mg – five-sided, white tablets with a raised “A” on one side
- Ativan 2 mg – five-sided, white tablets with a raised “A” on one side
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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