What is lorazepam?
Lorazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Lorazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Lorazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders.
Lorazepam may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
It is dangerous to try and purchase lorazepam on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Medications distributed from Internet sales may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy. Samples of lorazepam purchased on the Internet have been found to contain haloperidol (Haldol), a potent antipsychotic drug with dangerous side effects. For more information, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or visit www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide.
Do not use this medication 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 taking lorazepam, tell your doctor 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.
FDA pregnancy category D. Lorazepam can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use lorazepam without your doctor’s consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor 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. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor 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 taking lorazepam.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 12 years old.
Do not drink alcohol while taking lorazepam. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.
Lorazepam can 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 doctor if you regularly use any of these other medicines.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of lorazepam can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, fainting, or coma.
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. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor 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 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 side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking lorazepam, tell your doctor 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 doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Ativan and lorazepam
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04