Lorazepam

Adult Medication

Brand Names: US

Ativan; LORazepam Intensol

Brand Names: Canada

Ativan

Warning

  • This drug is a benzodiazepine. The use of a benzodiazepine drug along with opioid drugs has led to very bad side effects. Side effects that have happened include slowed or trouble breathing and death. Opioid drugs include drugs like codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. Opioid drugs are used to treat pain and some are used to treat cough. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are taking this drug with an opioid drug, get medical help right away if you feel very sleepy or dizzy; if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing; or if you pass out. Caregivers or others need to get medical help right away if the patient does not respond, does not answer or react like normal, or will not wake up.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat anxiety.
  • It is used to treat seizures.
  • It is used to ease anxiety before surgery.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to lorazepam or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Glaucoma, low mood (depression), or certain mental problems.
  • If you have sleep apnea.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on this drug for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • Do not take this drug for longer than you were told by your doctor.
  • If you have been taking this drug on a regular basis and you stop it all of a sudden, you may have signs of withdrawal. Do not stop taking this drug all of a sudden without calling your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

All oral products:

  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this drug.

Injection:

  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for alertness for 1 to 2 full days after getting this drug and until the effects of this drug have worn off.
  • Do not try to get out of bed without help for at least 8 hours after you use this drug. You may fall and hurt yourself.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for 1 to 2 full days after getting this drug.
  • Some products have benzyl alcohol. Do not give a product that has benzyl alcohol in it to a newborn or infant. Talk with the doctor to see if this product has benzyl alcohol in it.

For a procedure:

  • Studies in young animals and children have shown that frequent or long-term use of anesthesia drugs or drugs used for sleep in children younger than 3 years of age may lead to long-term brain problems. This may also happen in unborn babies if the mother uses this drug during the third trimester of pregnancy. Talk with the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Change in how you act.
  • Change in balance.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Memory problems or loss.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
  • This drug may cause very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems. Call your doctor right away if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

All products:

  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Feeling tired or weak.

Injection:

  • Irritation where the shot is given.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All oral products:

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.

Liquid (solution):

  • Use the dropper that comes with this drug to measure the drug.
  • Mix the liquid with water, juice, soda, applesauce, or pudding before taking it.
  • Swallow the mixture right away. Do not store for use at a later time.

Under the tongue (sublingual) tablet:

  • Place tablet under the tongue and let melt.
  • Do not swallow for at least 2 minutes after using this drug.

Injection:

  • It is given as a shot into a muscle or vein.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

All oral products:

  • If you take this drug on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this drug is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

Injection:

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Tablets and under the tongue (sublingual) tablets:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Liquid (solution):

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Throw away any part not used after 3 months.

All oral products:

  • Protect from light.

Injection:

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2017-05-11

Copyright

© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Last Updated