Ativan (Lorazepam)

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ativan

What is Ativan (Lorazepam)?

Lorazepam (Ativan) is part of a drug class known as benzodiazepines. It has effects on chemicals in your brain that otherwise may cause you anxiety. Ativan is used in the treatment of disorders related to anxiety.

Lorazepam is sometimes used for purposes not mentioned here.

What should I Know about Lorazepam/Ativan?

Oral Lorazepam

The oral form of this medicine should not be used if you have allergies to Ativan or other medicines in the benzodiazepine class. They include oxazepam (brand name Serax), diazepam (brand name Valium), clorazepate (brand name Tranxene), chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium) and alprazolam (brand name Xanax).

Lorazepam may cause serious birth defects in unborn babies. Pregnant women should not use it.

Before you take lorazepam, speak with your physician if you have alcohol or drug addiction, thoughts of suicide, a depression history, liver or kidney disease, glaucoma or breathing issues.

Wine should not be used while you take this medication. Lorazepam may increase alcohol’s effects.

Other medicines that cause sleepiness should not be used with lorazepam. They may make you even sleepier.

Lorazepam is often habit-forming and you should not share it with anyone else. Keep it safely put away where it cannot be found by others.

Do not purchase this medication from foreign vendors, or online. These may have dangerous ingredients and unlicensed pharmacies do not guarantee quality in ingredients. Lorazepam samples purchased online sometimes have contained Haldol (haloperidol). This is a powerful drug for antipsychotic issues and its side effects are quite dangerous. If you’d like additional information, get in touch with the FDA or visit their website at www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide.

Injections of Lorazepam

Speak with your physician before getting lorazepam injections, and tell him or her if you suffer from breathing problems, COPD, asthma, sleep apnea, liver or kidney disease or glaucoma of narrow-angle type.

Inform your physician of any allergies to oxazepam (brand name Serax), diazepam (brand name Valium), clorazepate (brand name Tranxene), chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium) or alprazolam (brand name Xanax).

Lorazepam is known to cause serious birth defects. It is not normally used at all during pregnancies. But if you have status epilepticus, lorazepam benefits may outweigh its risks to your baby.

After you receive lorazepam injections, you should not drink any alcohol.

Other medicines that cause sleepiness should not be used with lorazepam. They may make you even sleepier.

If you have emergency situations, you may not be able to tell healthcare providers about a pregnancy, medications like lorazepam or your pre-existing health conditions. Ensure that any physician who cares for you afterwards understands that you take this medicine.

When you have lorazepam injections, you will be kept under watch for awhile after the injections, to ensure that you do not experience serious side effects.

Do I Need to Know More Before I Take Ativan?

Oral Lorazepam

Do not purchase this medication from foreign vendors, or online. These may have dangerous ingredients and unlicensed pharmacies do not guarantee quality in ingredients. Lorazepam samples purchased online sometimes have contained Haldol (haloperidol). This is a powerful drug for antipsychotic issues and its side effects are quite dangerous. If you’d like additional information, get in touch with the FDA or visit their website at www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide.

You shouldn’t use lorazepam if you have allergies to Ativan or other medicines in the benzodiazepine class. They include oxazepam (brand name Serax), diazepam (brand name Valium), clorazepate (brand name Tranxene), chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium) and alprazolam (brand name Xanax). Do not use it if you suffer from glaucoma of a narrow-angle type.

Inform your physician if you experience or have experienced:

  • Alcohol or drug addiction history
  • Suicidal thoughts/behavior
  • Depression history
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Breathing problems like COPD, bronchitis, emphysema or asthma
  • Glaucoma

You may be required to undergo special tests or dose adjustments if you experience these conditions.

Lorazepam is in FDA category D for pregnancy. It may cause serious birth defects in unborn babies. If you become pregnant, do not use this medicine. Use highly effective birth control methods while on lorazepam.

Researchers do not know if lorazepam can pass from mother to infant through breast milk. If you have a baby being breast-fed, don’t use lorazepam.

If you are older, lorazepam’s effects of sedation may last for a longer time. You may be more likely to suffer falls. Be cautious about injuries or falls when using this medication.

This medicine cannot be given to children under the age of 12.

Injections of Lorazepam

Speak with your physician before getting lorazepam injections, and tell him or her if you suffer from breathing problems, COPD, asthma, sleep apnea, liver or kidney disease or glaucoma of narrow-angle type.

Inform your physician of any allergies to oxazepam (brand name Serax), diazepam (brand name Valium), clorazepate (brand name Tranxene), chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium) and alprazolam (brand name Xanax).

Lorazepam is known to cause serious birth defects. It is not normally used at all during pregnancies. But if you have status epilepticus, lorazepam benefits may outweigh its risks to your baby.

If you have emergency situations, you may not be able to tell healthcare providers about a pregnancy, medications like lorazepam or your pre-existing health conditions. Ensure that any physician who cares for you afterwards understands that you take this medicine.

Side Effects of Ativan

Oral Lorazepam

Seek emergency help if you experience swelling of your throat, tongue, lips or face, difficulty in breathing or hives.

Contact your physician immediately if you develop any side effects that are serious. They include:

  • fainting or feeling light-headed
  • hallucinations
  • hostility, agitation or hyperactivity
  • thoughts about hurting yourself or committing suicide
  • depressed mood or confusion

Other side effects that are not as serious sometimes include:

  • rash on skin
  • change in appetite
  • constipation, vomiting, nausea
  • trouble with concentration
  • forgetfulness
  • amnesia
  • lack of coordination or balance
  • weakness in muscles
  • problems getting to sleep or staying asleep
  • burry vision
  • tiredness, dizziness or drowsiness

The list above is not complete. You may experience other side effects. Speak with your physician about side effects that trouble you. Side effects may be reported to the US FDA. 1-800-FDA-1088.

Injections of Lorazepam

Seek emergency help for any allergy reaction signs including swelling of throat, tongue, lips or face, difficulty in breathing or hives.

Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you develop side effects like those listed below:

  • feeling like fainting may occur
  • unusual behavior or thoughts
  • hallucinations
  • hostility, agitation or hyperactivity
  • convulsions or seizures
  • shallow or weak breathing

Some side effects are not as serious:

  • burning or pain at injection site
  • vomiting or nausea
  • rash on skin
  • blurry vision
  • headache
  • dizziness or drowsiness

The list above is not complete. You may experience other side effects. Speak with your physician about side effects that trouble you. Side effects may be reported to the US FDA. 1-800-FDA-1088.

What Drugs Can Affect Lorazepam?

Oral Lorazepam

Before you take lorazepam, inform your physician if you use any of these drugs:

  • Antidepressants that include trimipramine (brand name Surmontil), sertraline (brand name Zoloft), protriptyline (brand name Vivactil), paroxetine (brand namePaxil), nortriptyline (brand name Pamelor), imipramine (brand names Janimine and Tofranil), fluvoxamine (brand name Luvox), fluoxetine (brand names Prozac and Sarafem), escitalopram (brand name Lexapro), doxepin (brand name Sinequan), desipramine (brand name Norpramin), clomipramine (brand name Anafranil), citalopram (brand name Celexa), amoxapine (brand name Asendin) or amitriptyline (brand names Elavil and Etrafon)
  • Narcotic medicines like propoxyphene (brand names Darvon and Darvocet), oxycodone (brand name OxyContin), naloxone (brand names Narcan), morphine (brand names Oramorph, MS Contin and Kadian), methadone (brand names Dolophine and Methadose), meperidine (brand name Demerol), levorphanol (brand name Levo-Dromoran), hydrocodone (brand names Lortab and Vicodin), codeine and butorphanol (brand name Stadol)
  • Medications that treat disorders of a psychiatric nature like thioridazine (brand name Mellaril), pimozide (brand name Orap), mesoridazine (brand name Serentil), haloperidol (brand name Haldol) and chlorpromazine (brand name Thorazine)
  • MAO inhibitors like tranylcypromine (brand name Parnate), selegiline (brand names Eldepryl and Emsam), rasagiline (brand name Azilect), phenelzine (brand name Nardil) and isocarboxazid (brand name Marplan)
  • Barbiturates that include phenobarbital (brand names Luminal and Solfoton), secobarbital (brand name Seconal), mephobarbital (brand names Mebaral), butabarbital (brand name Butisol) and amobarbital (brand name Amytal)

This is not a complete list. Other medications may cause interactions when taken with lorazepam. Speak with your physician about all medicines you take, including prescriptions, over the counter medicines, herbal products, minerals and vitamins. Never start using new medicines without notifying your physician first.

Injections of Lorazepam

Muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, narcotic pain medications, allergy or cold medicines or drugs for anxiety, seizures or depression may make you even sleepier than you normally may be when taking lorazepam. Speak with your physician if you need any of these medications within two days after receiving an injection of lorazepam.

Speak to your physician about any medications you already take, like:

  • Pills for birth control
  • Probenecid (brand name Benemid)
  • Antidepressants that include trimipramine (brand name Surmontil), sertraline (brand name Zoloft), protriptyline (brand name Vivactil), paroxetine (brand namePaxil), nortriptyline (brand name Pamelor), imipramine (brand names Janimine and Tofranil), fluvoxamine (brand name Luvox), fluoxetine (brand names Prozac and Sarafem), escitalopram (brand name Lexapro), doxepin (brand name Sinequan), desipramine (brand name Norpramin), clomipramine (brand name Anafranil), citalopram (brand name Celexa), amoxapine (brand name Asendin) or amitriptyline (brand names Elavil and Etrafon)
  • Narcotic medicines like propoxyphene (brand names Darvon and Darvocet), oxycodone (brand name OxyContin), naloxone (brand names Narcan), morphine (brand names Oramorph, MS Contin and Kadian), methadone (brand names Dolophine and Methadose), meperidine (brand name Demerol), levorphanol (brand name Levo-Dromoran), hydrocodone (brand names Lortab and Vicodin), codeine and butorphanol (brand name Stadol)
  • Valproate (brand name Depakene)
  • Medications that treat disorders of a psychiatric nature like thioridazine (brand name Mellaril), pimozide (brand name Orap), mesoridazine (brand name Serentil), haloperidol (brand name Haldol) and chlorpromazine (brand name Thorazine)
  • MAO inhibitors like tranylcypromine (brand name Parnate), selegiline (brand names Eldepryl and Emsam), rasagiline (brand name Azilect), phenelzine (brand name Nardil) and isocarboxazid (brand name Marplan)
  • Barbiturates that include phenobarbital (brand names Luminal and Solfoton), secobarbital (brand name Seconal), mephobarbital (brand names Mebaral), butabarbital (brand name Butisol) and amobarbital (brand name Amytal)

This is not a complete list. Other medications may cause interactions when taken with lorazepam. Speak with your physician about all medicines you take, including prescriptions, over the counter medicines, herbal products, minerals and vitamins. Never start using new medicines without notifying your physician first.

What Should Be Avoided When I Take Ativan?

Oral Lorazepam

If you take lorazepam, you should not drink any alcohol. Otherwise, your alcohol effects will be increased by the medicine.

Lorazepam may cause serious side effects that can impair reactions or thinking. Take care before driving or performing tasks that demand alertness.

Muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, narcotic pain medications, allergy or cold medicines or drugs for anxiety, seizures or depression may make you even sleepier than you normally may be when taking lorazepam. Speak with your physician if you need any of these medications after taking oral lorazepam.

Injections of Lorazepam

You may experience extreme drowsiness if you are taking lorazepam injections. These may last for one to two days after your injection. If you are older, the sleepiness may last longer.

Lorazepam may cause serious side effects that can impair reactions or thinking. Take care before driving or performing tasks that demand alertness.

Alcohol must not be consumed in the first one to two days following an injection of lorazepam. It increases alcohol’s effects.

How Should Lorazepam Be Taken?

Oral Lorazepam

Take lorazepam exactly as prescribed by your physician. Do not take smaller or larger doses, and don’t use the medicine after it has been discontinued by your physician. Follow label directions exactly.

Your physician may sometimes change dosages, so that your results are optimal.

Measure liquid lorazepam with a cup or spoon designed for the task. Do not use regular spoons. Your pharmacist can provide a device for measuring doses.

Lorazepam is a short-term duration drug. Don’t take it for more than four months unless your physician orders it.

Ativan can be addictive, so don’t share this medication with anyone else. Keep your medicine somewhere safe and out of the reach of others.

Inform your physician if lorazepam seems to become less effective. Do not discontinue use suddenly, unless you have discussed it with your physician. It should be gradually cut down and not stopped at once.

If you have used lorazepam for a long time and it is discontinued, you may once again experience your original symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms and seizures may occur. Other symptoms of withdrawal might include unusual behavior or thoughts, vomiting, stomach pain, muscle cramps, sweating and tremor.

Your physician may check your medication progress regularly, to ensure that serious side effects are not being caused. Be sure to make these scheduled appointments.

Lorazepam should be stored at proper room temperature and away from light, moisture and heat.

Liquid lorazepam is stored in a refrigerator.

Watch how many pills you use. These are addictive drugs, and you must be sure that no one else takes them.

Injections of Lorazepam

Ativan will be injected through IV, into your vein. These injections are given in surgical or emergency room settings.

After you receive an injection, a healthcare provider will watch you for side effects, and to ensure that the medicine is properly working. He or she will monitor oxygen levels, blood pressure, bleeding and other signs.

Lorazepam may cause you to feel light-headed, dizzy or drowsy. If you are an older adult, the effects may be longer-lasting. Take care not to fall or receive injury after an injection. You might require assistance in getting up from your bed for the first eight hours or so.

What if I Overdose on Lorazepam?

Oral Lorazepam

Seek emergency care if you take too much lorazepam. Overdoses can be fatal. Symptoms of overdose sometimes include coma, fainting, weakness of muscles, confusion or extreme sense of drowsiness.

Injections of Lorazepam

Overdoses are not likely with injections, since a healthcare specialist gives you the shots in a surgery or emergency room setting.

What if I Miss a Lorazepam Dose? 

Oral Lorazepam

Take a missed dose when you remember. If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the one you missed. Never take double the prescribed medicine to make up for a missed dose.

Injection Lorazepam

As these injections are given by healthcare professionals, it is unlikely that you would miss doses.

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