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Drug Descriptions Advanced Pain Treatment

ATIVAN

Generic Name: lorazepam
Brand Names: Ativan


What is the most important information I should know about lorazepam?

 

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Lorazepam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

 

Avoid alcohol while taking lorazepam. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by lorazepam. Alcohol may also increase the risk of having a seizure if lorazepam is being taken for a seizure condition.

 

Lorazepam may be habit forming. Physical and/ or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Do not stop taking lorazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose.


What is lorazepam?

 

Lorazepam is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Lorazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.

 

Lorazepam is used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and tension associated with anxiety disorders. It is also used to treat certain types of seizure disorders and to relieve insomnia (induce sleep).

 

Lorazepam may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lorazepam?

 

Do not take lorazepam if you have narrow-angle glaucoma. Lorazepam may worsen this condition.

 

Before taking lorazepam, tell your doctor if you

 

     ·

have kidney disease;

 

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have liver disease;

 

     ·

have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another respiratory disease; or

 

     ·

are depressed or have suicidal thoughts.

 

You may not be able to take lorazepam, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

 

Lorazepam is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that lorazepam is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

 

Lorazepam passes into breast milk. Do not take lorazepam without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

 

If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from lorazepam. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.


How should I take lorazepam?

 

Take lorazepam exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

 

Lorazepam is also available as an injection. If you are using the injection at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions regarding preparation, administration, and storage of the injectable formulation.

 

To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the oral concentrate with a dose-measuring spoon, dropper, or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

 

Take each oral dose with a full glass of water.

 

Lorazepam may be habit forming. Physical and/ or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Do not stop taking lorazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose.

 

Your doctor may want you to have medical evaluations during treatment with lorazepam to monitor progress and side effects.

 

Store lorazepam tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

 

Store the lorazepam oral concentrate in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 and 8 degrees Celsius), protected from light.


What happens if I miss a dose?

 

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication. A double dose could be dangerous.


What happens if I overdose?

 

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

 

Symptoms of a lorazepam overdose include sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, a slow heart beat, difficulty breathing, difficulty walking and talking, an appearance of being drunk, and unconsciousness.


What should I avoid while taking lorazepam?

 

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Lorazepam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

 

Avoid alcohol while taking lorazepam. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by lorazepam. Alcohol may also increase the risk of a seizure if lorazepam is being taken for a seizure condition.

 

Lorazepam may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.


What are the possible side effects of lorazepam?

 

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking lorazepam and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

 

     ·

an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; or hives);

 

     ·

sores in the mouth or throat;

 

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yellowing of the skin or eyes;

 

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a rash;

 

     ·

hallucinations or severe confusion; or

 

     ·

changes in vision.

 

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take lorazepam and talk to your doctor if you experience

 

     ·

drowsiness, dizziness, or clumsiness;

 

     ·

depression;

 

     ·

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation;

 

     ·

difficulty urinating;

 

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vivid dreams;

 

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headache;

 

     ·

dry mouth;

 

     ·

decreased sex drive; or

 

     ·

changes in behavior.

 

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.


What other drugs will affect lorazepam?

 

Lorazepam may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

 

Antacids may decrease the effects of lorazepam. Separate doses of an antacid and lorazepam by several hours whenever possible.

 

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with lorazepam. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.


Where can I get more information?

 

Your pharmacist has additional information about lorazepam written for health professionals that you may read.

 

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.

 

 

The information contained in Advanced Pain Treatment’s website is intended as an educational aid only.

  • It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.
  • It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

Advanced Pain Treatment is not responsible for application of any information provided in its website. By use of this website user agrees to hold Advanced Pain Treatment harmless in any legal action regarding use, interpretation or application of this website’s information.

Visit National Library of Medicine Drug Information © 2005 National Library of Medicine (NLM) & National Institutes of Health (NIH)

 

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