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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Lorazepam
Lorazepam
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(lor A ze pam)

Brand Names
Ativan®

Foreign Brand Names
Apo-Lorazepam® (Canada); Novo-Lorazepam® (Canada); Nu-Loraz (Canada); PMS-Lorazepam (Canada); Pro-Lorazepam® (Canada)

Therapeutic Categories
Benzodiazepine

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to lorazepam or any other part of the medicine. If you are allergic to another benzodiazepine, talk with healthcare provider.
  • If you have narrow-angle glaucoma or severe lung disease.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks.
  • It is also used to treat or prevent alcohol withdrawal and insomnia.


How does it work?

  • Lorazepam works in the brain at the emotional center called the limbic system.


How is it best taken?

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if this medicine causes an upset stomach.
  • A liquid (solution) is available if you cannot swallow pills. Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after medicine is given. Mix solution with water, juice, or soft food first before taking by mouth. Mix with water for tube feedings.
  • Do not suddenly stop using this medicine if you have been taking it for a long time. Medicine should be slowly decreased.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Since medicine is frequently taken on an as needed basis, separate dose by at least 8-12 hours.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines, especially with certain antibiotics.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • If you are 65 or older, you may have more side effects. You could feel sleepy and shaky.
  • You may not be alert. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor) and other medicines and herbs that slow your actions and reactions. This includes sedatives, tranquilizers, mood stabilizers, or pain medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you have lung disease. You may be more sensitive to this medicine.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Do not use in pregnancy and do not get pregnant. Use birth control that you can trust while taking this medicine.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Feeling sleepy, lightheaded, or unable to think clearly. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Dry mouth. Frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.


What should I monitor?

  • Watch for change in symptoms. Is condition better, worse, or about the same?


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Changes in balance, feeling shaky or unsteady.
  • Too tired or sleepy.
  • Any rash.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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