The Web Health

Subscribe

Ativan

Name of the generic: Lorazepam (or lor-Aze-pam)
Drug classes: Benzodiazepine anticonvulsants, Benzodiazepines, and miscellaneous antiemetics

What is Ativan?

Ativan (lorazepam) is part of a class of medicines known as benzodiazepines. It is believed that benzodiazepines enhance the activity of neurotransmitters within the brain.

Ativan is a medication used by adults and children who are at least 12 years old in order to manage anxiety disorders.

Ativan can also be utilized to help with insomnia that is caused by anxiety or temporary stress caused by a situation.

Ativan can be used to treat vomiting and nausea after cancer treatment and also to reduce agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal.

Warnings

Ativan can cause a slowing or stopping of your breathing, particularly when you've recently taken alcohol, an opioid drug, or any other drug that may slow your breathing. These side effects could be fatal.

MISUSE OF ATIVAN CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Make sure to keep this medicine in a place where others are unable to access it.

Lorazepam can cause dependence and should only be used by the person for whom it was prescribed. Ativan should not be given to a person who has a different prescription, particularly if they have a history of abuse or addiction.

Do not stop taking Ativan without consulting your physician. There is a risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly quit using the medication after prolonged use. The withdrawal symptoms can last for 12 months or more.

Get medical assistance immediately. If you stop taking Ativan and experience symptoms like abnormal muscle movements, becoming more talkative or active, or having sudden and extreme changes in your mood or behavior such as hallucinations, confusion, seizures, or thoughts of suicide,

Do not take Ativan when you are expecting. Lorazepam can cause birth defects or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in infants.

It is not recommended to use this medicine if you suffer from narrow-angle glaucoma, severe respiratory insufficiency, myasthenia gravis, or an allergic reaction to Valium or any similar medication.

Prior to Use this Drug

Do not take Ativan if you suffer from:

  • Narrow-angle glaucoma; or
  • A history of an allergic reaction to any type of benzodiazepine (lorazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Valium, Xanax, Versed, Klonopin, and others).

To ensure that Ativan is suitable for you, ask your doctor if you've previously had:

  • Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary illness (COPD), sleep apnea, or another breathing disorder;
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs;
  • Depression, mental illness, psychosis, mood swings, or suicidal ideas or actions;
  • Seizures;
  • An allergic reaction or sensitivity to aspirin or food dyes that contain yellow; an allergy to aspirin or yellow food dye
  • Kidney or liver diseases

Consult your physician if you're pregnant or are planning to be pregnant. If you take Ativan during your pregnancy, your baby could be born with withdrawal symptoms that are life-threatening and may require medical attention for several weeks.

If you're expecting, then your name might be added to the pregnancy registry to monitor any effects of the lorazepam on the child.

It is not recommended to breastfeed.

If you breastfeed, consult your physician in the event that you experience signs of drowsiness, problems with feeding, or a slow gain of weight for the baby who is nursing.

Ativan pregnant as well as breastfeeding alerts (more specific)

How to Take Ativan?

You should take Ativan exactly as directed by your physician. Follow the instructions on the label of your prescription and study the entire medication guide or instruction sheet. Do not take Ativan in greater quantities or for longer than the time prescribed. Inform your physician if you have a strong urge to take more of this drug.

Do not ever share Ativan with anyone else or anyone with a history of dependence. A MISUSE OF ATIVAN can lead to addiction, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Make sure the medication is kept in a place where other people cannot access it. Giving away or selling the medicine is against the law.

Don't stop taking Ativan without consulting your physician. There could be severe withdrawal symptoms that could be life-threatening if you suddenly quit using the medication after long-term usage.

Closely store Ativan tablets in a cool, dry place away from heat and moisture.

Place your medication in a location where no one will use it in a way that isn't safe.

Details on Dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety:

Initial dosage 2-to-3 mg taken orally every day, taken 2-3 times a day.
Maintenance dosage 1–2 mg daily orally, 3–4 times per day

Uses:
Management of anxiety disorders
The short-term relief of anxiety, or anxiety associated with depression symptoms

Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia:

2–4 mg taken orally every day, at bedtime.

Comments:
The dosage should be gradually increased as needed to avoid negative effects.
Clinical studies haven't assessed the effectiveness of this drug for long-term treatment (e.g., longer than four months).

Use: Management of sleepiness due to fear of temporary stress in a situation

Usual Geriatric Dose for Anxiety:

Patients who are debilitated or older:
Initial dose: 1–2 mg daily orally In divided doses

Management of anxiety disorders
Short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety that are associated with depression symptoms

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anxiety:

12-year-olds or older:
Initial dosage: between 2 and 3 mg taken orally every day, taken between 2 and 3 times per day.
Maintenance dosage: between 1 and 2 mg, orally 3 to 4 times per day.

The dosage for a day can vary between 1 and 10 mg/day.
The dosage should be gradually increased whenever necessary to prevent adverse reactions.
If a higher dose is recommended, the dose at night must be increased prior to the doses during the day.
The use of anxiolytic drugs is usually not required to relieve tension or anxiety by stress and the pressures of daily life.
Clinical studies haven't examined the efficacy of this medication for long-term use (e.g., more than four months).

Uses:
Management of anxiety disorders
Short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety related to depression symptoms

Usual Pediatric Dose for Insomnia:

12 years and older, between 2 and 4 mg daily every night at bedtime

Comments:
For patients with debilitation A starting dose in the range of one to two mg daily in doses divided is recommended.
The dosage should be gradually increased as needed to avoid negative effects.
Clinical studies have not yet examined the efficacy of this medication for long-term use (e.g., more than four months).

What Happens If I Miss a Dose?

Do not take the medicine for as long as you can. However, do not take any missed doses if you are close to the time of the next dose. Don't take two doses at a time.

What Happens If I Overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek immediate attention. Or dial emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A high dose of lorazepam could cause death if you drink alcohol or take other substances that cause drowsiness or breathlessness.

Overdose symptoms can include extreme dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, feeling uneasy, weak muscles, loss of balance or coordination, feeling lightheaded or having sluggish heartbeats, slow or weak breathing, or an induced coma.

What Should be Avoided?

Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects or even death could happen.

Avoid driving and other hazardous activities until you are aware of the way Ativan can affect you. The feeling of dizziness or drowsiness could cause accidents, falls, or even serious injuries.

Side Effects of Ativan

See a doctor immediately in the event that you exhibit symptoms that indicate you are experiencing an allergic reaction. Ativan: hives, breathing problems, or swelling of your lips, face, and tongue.

Lorazepam can cause a slowing or stopping of your breathing, particularly when you've recently taken alcohol or an opioid. Anyone who is caring for you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience breath that is slow, with long pauses or blue-colored lips, or if you find it difficult to get back up.

Ativan may cause serious side effects. Consult your physician immediately. If you suffer from:

  • Severe drowsiness;
  • Unexpected changes in behavior or mood, such as being talkative or agitated;
  • An uncontrollable feeling of restlessness or exuberance;
  • Depression, seizures, thoughts of issues, thoughts of self-harm or suicide;
  • Confusion, aggression, and hallucinations;
  • Sleep problems (insomnia);
  • Vision change
  • Dark urine and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin).

Dizziness or drowsiness can persist for longer in older individuals. Be careful to stay away from falls or injuries that are accidental.

Common Ativan adverse effects include:

  • Dizziness, sedation, and drowsiness;
  • Insufficiency or weakness
  • Feeling unsteady.

You'll need regular blood tests to monitor your liver and blood count functions.

When you have stopped taking Ativan, seek medical assistance immediately if you are experiencing symptoms like abnormal muscle movements, becoming more talkative or active, abrupt and drastic changes in behavior or mood such as hallucinations, confusion, seizures, or suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Some people's withdrawal symptoms can last for a year or more after abruptly discontinuing Ativan. Inform your doctor if you are suffering from persistent depression, anxiety, and memory problems, as well as difficulty thinking, difficulty sleeping, hearing ringing in your ear or ears, a burning or prickly sensation, or a feeling of something crawling under your skin.

This is not a comprehensive list of all the side effects. Others could happen. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical adverse effects. You can report any adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with Other Drugs

The combination of Ativan and other drugs that cause a slowing of breathing could cause serious adverse effects or even deaths. Ask your doctor prior to taking opioids, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or medication for seizures or anxiety.

Inform your doctor about any other medications you take, including:

This list isn't complete, and a variety of other medications could interfere with lorazepam. This includes over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal products. The interactions of all drugs are included here.

 

DRUG STATUS

Availability

Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation

CSA Schedule*
Related Drugs
Related Stories

Images