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Lorazepam Drug Information

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Brand Names: Ativan 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.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 is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on the medication. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor . Withdrawal effects may occur if lorazepam is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Your doctor may recommend a gradual reduction in 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.
Who should not take lorazepam?
• Do not take lorazepam if you have narrow-angle glaucoma. Lorazepam may worsen this condition.
• Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
· have kidney disease;
· 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 harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
• 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. You may require a lower dose of this medication.
• Lorazepam is not approved for use by children younger than 18 years of age.
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.
• Take each dose with a full glass of water.
• Do not take more than is prescribed for you.
• Lorazepam is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on the medication. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Withdrawal effects may occur if lorazepam is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Your doctor may recommend a gradual reduction in dose.
• Store lorazepam at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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.
• 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 your throat; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
· sores in the mouth or throat;
· yellowing of the skin or eyes;
· 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;
· vivid dreams;
· 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 herbal products.


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