lorazepam, Ativan (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with lorazepam are:

  • sedation,
  • dizziness,
  • weakness, and
  • unsteadiness.

Other side effects include:

WARNING: Like all benzodiazepines, lorazepam can cause physical dependence. Suddenly stopping therapy after a few months of daily therapy may be associated with a feeling of loss of self-worth, agitation, and insomnia. If lorazepam is taken continuously for longer than a few months, stopping therapy suddenly may produce seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and sweating.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 0.5, 1, and 2 mg. Oral solution: 2 mg/ml. Injection: 2 mg/ml and 4 mg/ml

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.

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.

Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/11/2014


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