lorazepam, Ativan (cont.)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
STORAGE: Tablets should be kept at room temperature 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Oral solutions should be refrigerated at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F). Injectable solutions should be refrigerated.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Lorazepam is used for the management of anxiety disorders, the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depression. Lorazepam is effective for insomnia and panic attacks, and is used in combination with other medications to prevent nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy. Lorazepam also is administered before anesthesia for sedation and used for prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal. It is also used for treating seizures (status epilepticus).
DOSING: The dose of lorazepam is tailored to the patient's needs. The usual dose for treating anxiety is 2-6 mg orally every 8 to 12 hours as needed. Insomnia is treated with 2-4 mg given at bedtime.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Lorazepam and all benzodiazepines accentuate the effects of other drugs that slow the brain's processes such as alcohol, barbiturates, narcotics, and tranquilizers, and the combination of lorazepam and these drugs may lead to excessive sedation. There have been cases of marked sedation when lorazepam was given to patients taking the tranquilizer loxapine (Loxitane); it is unclear if there is a drug interaction, but caution should be used if lorazepam and loxapine are used together.
PREGNANCY: Lorazepam and other benzodiazepines have been associated with fetal damage, including congenital malformations, when taken by pregnant women in their first trimester. Lorazepam is best avoided if at all possible in the first trimester and probably throughout pregnancy.
NURSING MOTHERS: Lorazepam is excreted in breast milk and should be avoided during pregnancy.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with lorazepam are sedation (15.9% of patients), dizziness (6.9% of patients), weakness, and unsteadiness. Other side effects include a feeling of depression, loss of orientation, headache, and sleep disturbance.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2014
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