Ativan (Lorazepam)

Ativan is a benzodiazepine that is used to improve anxiety disorders. Lorazepam, the active ingredient of the treatment, produces a drastic impact on the brain, stimulating its proper functioning and balancing the amount of chemicals produced. As a result of Ativan intake a patient can significantly improve anxiety, depression, panic and other psychological disorders. Using the drug off-label, obligatorily consult a healthcare specialist.

Brand Names: Ativan


What is Ativan?

Ativan (lorazepam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Lorazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. Ativan is used to treat anxiety disorders. Ativan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Ativan (Lorazepam) Uses

This medication is used to treat anxiety. Lorazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. This drug works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).

How to use Ativan

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lorazepam and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. If directed by your doctor, use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses (more than 1-4 weeks) or if you have a history of alcoholism, drug abuse, or personality disorder. Withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures, trouble sleeping, mental/mood changes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, hallucinations, numbness/tingling of arms and legs, muscle pain, fast heartbeat, short-term memory loss, very high fever, and increased reactions to noise/touch/light) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Report any withdrawal reactions right away. Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Do not suddenly stop using this drug without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Side Effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, headache, nausea, blurred vision, change in sexual interest/ability, constipation, heartburn, or change in appetite may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unlikely but serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations, depression, thoughts of suicide), slurred speech or difficulty talking, vision changes, unusual weakness, trouble walking, memory problems, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat). Get medical help right away if you have any rare but very serious side effects, including: yellowing eyes or skin, seizures, slow/shallow breathing. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before taking lorazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, lung/breathing problems (such as sleep apnea), mental/mood disorders (such as depression, psychosis), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness. Also, the elderly may not experience relief of anxiety with lorazepam. It may have the opposite effect on the elderly, causing symptoms including mental/mood changes, sleeping problems, increase in sexual interest, or hallucinations. Loss of coordination, drowsiness, and sleeping problems may increase the risk of falling. Children may not experience relief of anxiety with lorazepam. It may have the opposite effect on children, causing symptoms including agitation, shaking, or hallucinations. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Tell the doctor right away if you notice symptoms in your newborn baby such as slowed breathing, feeding problems, or constant crying. Consult your doctor for more details. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose and are taking more than 1 dose daily, do not take it if it is almost time for the next dose. Instead, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up. If you take it once daily at bedtime and miss a dose, do not take it the following morning. Call your doctor to find out what to do.