- Tips to Fast Stress Relief
- Take the Panic Attacks Quiz!
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Slideshow
- What is lorazepam (Ativan)? How does it work?
- What are the uses for lorazepam?
- What are the side effects of lorazepam?
- What is the dosage for lorazepam?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with lorazepam?
- Is lorazepam safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about lorazepam?
What is lorazepam (Ativan)? How does it work?
Lorazepam (Ativan) is thought that excessive activity of nerves in the brain may cause anxiety and other psychological disorders. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that nerves in the brain use to send messages to one another that reduces the activity of nerves in the brain. It is thought that lorazepam and other benzodiazepines may act by enhancing the effects of GABA in the brain to reduce activity. Because lorazepam is removed from the blood more rapidly than many other benzodiazepines, there is less chance that lorazepam concentrations in blood will reach high levels and become toxic. Lorazepam also has fewer interactions with other medications than most of the other benzodiazepines.
The FDA approved lorazepam in March 1999.
What are the uses for lorazepam?
- Ativan (lorazepam) is used for the management of anxiety disorders, the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depression.
- Ativan is effective for panic attacks, short-term and long-term treatment of insomnia and is used in combination with other medications to prevent nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy.
- Ativan also is administered before anesthesia for sedation and used for prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal.
- It also is used for treating seizures (status epilepticus)
What are the side effects of lorazepam?
The most common side effects associated with Ativan are:
Other side effects include:
- A feeling of depression
- Loss of orientation
- Sleep disturbances
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Impotence (erectile dysfunction, ED)
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep apnea
Possible serious side effects include:
- Like all benzodiazepines, Ativan 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 Ativan is taken continuously for longer than a few months, stopping therapy suddenly may produce seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and sweating.
What is the dosage for lorazepam?
- 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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with lorazepam?
- Ativan 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 Ativan and these drugs may lead to excessive sedation. There have been cases of marked sedation when Ativan was given to patients taking the tranquilizer loxapine (Loxitane); it is unclear if there is a drug interaction, but caution should be used if Ativan and loxapine are used together.
Is lorazepam safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Ativan is excreted in human milk and should be avoided during pregnancy.
What else should I know about lorazepam?
Preparations available for lorazepam are:
- Tablets: 0.5, 1, and 2 mg.
- Oral solution: 0.5 mg/5 ml, 2 mg/ml.
- Injection: 1 mg/0.5 ml, 2 mg/ml and 4 mg/ml
How to store lorazepam:
- 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.
Ativan is the brand name available in the US for lorazepam. Loraz, another brand name for lorazepam has been discontinued in the US.
Ativan is avialable in generic form; however you need a prescription from your doctor.
Latest Mental Health News
Lorazepam (Ativan) is a prescription drug used for the management of anxiety disorders, short-term relief of anxiety, or anxiety associated with depression. Ativan is effective for insomnia, panic attacks, and is used for treatment and prevention of alcohol withdrawal.
Side effects include amnesia, loss of orientation, headache, and sleep disturbances.
It is important to be aware of the drug interactions related to lorazepam (Ativan) and the effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Related Disease Conditions
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Second Source article from Government
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Dystonia disorders cause involuntary movements and prolonged muscle contraction, resulting in twisting body motions, tremor, and abnormal posture. There are many forms of dystonia. Some types of dystonia respond to dopamine, or can be controlled with dedative-type medications, or surgery.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress reduction, exercise, and medication are the standard treatments for fibromyalgia.
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms: racing heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, chills, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of loss or control. There are several treatments for panic attacks.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include: Irritability Tiredness Feeling sleepy during the day Concentration or memory problems Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Agoraphobia is a fear of being outside or of being in a situation from which escape would be impossible. Symptoms include anxiety, fear, disorientation, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, or dizziness. Treatment may incorporate psychotherapy, self-exposure to the anxiety-causing situation, and medications such as SSRIs, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers.
Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under the umbrella of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, and substance-abuse disorders are common types of mental illness. Symptoms and signs of mental illness include irritability, moodiness, insomnia, headaches, and sadness. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
Depression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
Depression in the Elderly
Depression in the elderly is very common. That doesn't mean, though, it's normal. Treatment may involve antidepressants, psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy.
Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnant women marked by high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine. Eclampsia occurs when preeclampsia goes untreated. Eclampsia can cause coma and death of the mother and baby. Preeclampsia symptoms include rapid weight gain, abdominal pain, headaches, blood in the urine, dizziness, and excessive vomiting and nausea. The only real cure for preeclampsia and eclampsia is the birth of the baby.
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is a short-term mental illness that features psychotic symptoms. There are three forms of brief psychotic disorder. The first occurs shortly after a major stress, the second has no apparent trauma that triggers the illness, and the third is associated with postpartum onset. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual behavior, disorientation, changes in eating and sleeping, and speech that doesn't make sense. Treatment typically involves medication and psychotherapy.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Seizures Symptoms and Types
Seizures are divided into two categories: generalized and partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from throughout the brain, while partial seizures are produced by electrical impulses in a small part of the brain. Seizure symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and muscle rigidity.
Insomnia (Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and Cures)
Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Secondary insomnia is the most common type of insomnia. Treatment for insomnia include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.
Alcohol and Teens
Alcohol is the most frequently used drug by American teenagers. Teens that drink are more likely to drive under the influence, have unprotected sex, and use other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Symptoms of alcohol abuse in teens include lying, breaking curfew, becoming verbally or physically abusive toward others, making excuses, smelling like alcohol, having mood swings, and stealing.
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer is cancer of the oral cavity, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, or lymph nodes in the upper part of the neck. These cancers account for 3% to 5% of cancers in the U.S. Tobacco and alcohol use are important risk factors. Treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.
Phobias are unrelenting fears of activities (social phobias), situations (agoraphobia), and specific items (arachnophobia). There is thought to be a hereditary component to phobias, though there may be a cultural influence or they may be triggered by life events. Symptoms and signs of phobias include having a panic attack, shaking, breathing troubles, rapid heartbeat, and a strong desire to escape the situation. Treatment of phobias typically involves desensitization, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and beta-blockers.
The shoulder is the most often dislocated joint in the body due to its mobility. Dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus is dislocated from its socket. Symptoms and signs of a shoulder dislocation include nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, weakness, and sweating. There are various methods of reducing a dislocation and returning the humeral head to its normal place. The method for reduction of a shoulder dislocation depends upon the type of dislocation, the patient, the situation, and the clinician's experience. Intravenous narcotics and muscle relaxants are often administered to relax the muscles and relieve pain.
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a condition in which affected individuals have severe nausea and vomiting that come in cycles. Researchers believe that cyclic vomiting syndrome and migraine headaches are related. Triggers of cyclic vomiting syndrome are emotional stress and infections. People with cyclic vomiting syndrome are at an increased risk of dehydration. Cyclic vomiting syndrome is difficult to diagnose. Treatment varies from person to person, but is generally directed toward relief of the symptoms of the condition.
Seizure vs. Seizure Disorders (Differences and Similarities)
The differences between a seizure, epilepsy, and seizure disorders are confusing to many people. What makes it more confusing, is that they are not the same thing. A seizure begins suddenly, and is a symptom of another disease. When a seizure occurs there is uncontrolled activity in the brain that usually only lasts for a short period. While a seizure disorder is a medical condition, in which the person has episodes of uncontrolled activity in the brain producing symptoms that include one or more seizures. Epilepsy is considered a seizure disorder.There are two types of major seizures, generalized and partial seizure type and the symptoms depend upon the part of the brain affected, and may include: Loss of consciousness Thought disturbances Convulsions Eye rolling Stiff limbs Twitching on only one side or a portion of the body like an arm or leg. Involuntary urination or bowel movement Repetitive shaking or jerking of the body Staring into space, sometimes with eye blinking No loss of consciousness, but the person becomes confused for a few minutes A third type of seizure is called unclassified seizure.Seizure disorders are classified under two types of major seizures (generalized and partial), and a third type called unclassified seizures. There are about 40 types of named seizure disorders. The symptoms and signs are different depending on the part of the brain affected by the seizure. Examples of seizure disorders are: Febrile seizures Benign Rolandic epilepsy Catamenial epilepsy Absence seizures Frontal lobe epilepsy Epilepsy Sometimes there is a known cause for a seizure like alcohol, cocaine or other illegal drug abuse, drug reactions, a severe chemical imbalance in the blood, or medical problems like low blood pressure. Treatment, management, and prevention of seizures include medication and avoiding any known causes or common triggers. REFERENCES: CDC. "Types of Seizures." Updated: Apr 10, 2017.Harvard Health Publications; Harvard Medical School. "Generalized Seizures (Grand Mal Seizures)."
Inner Ear Infection (Labyrinthitis)
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth (the part of the ear responsible for balance and hearing). Doctors do not know the exact cause of labyrinthitis; however, they often are associated viral infections of the inner ear. Symptoms of labyrinthitis are ear pain or earache, ear discharge, problems with balance and walking, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Viral infections associated with labyrinthitis are contagious. Home remedies may help labyrinthitis symptoms and signs. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication may treat inner ear infections, labyrinthitis symptoms like vertigo and nausea, and help ear pain.
Inner Ear Infection (Symptoms, Signs, Treatments, Home Remedies)
An inner ear infection or otitis interna is caused by viruses or bacteria and can occur in both adults and children. An inner ear infection can cause symptoms and signs, for example, a severe ear, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, and vertigo. An inner ear infection also may cause inflammation of the inner ear or labyrinthitis. Inner ear infections are not contagious; however, the bacteria and viruses that cause the infection can be transmitted to other people. Good hygiene practices will help decrease the chances of the infection spreading to others. Inner ear infection symptoms and signs like ear pain and nausea may be relieved with home remedies or over the counter (OTC) medication. Some inner ear infections will need to be treated and cured with antibiotics or prescription pain or antinausea medication.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Panic Attack
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Catatonia (Catatonic Behavior)
- Alcohol Withdrawal
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Inner Ear Infection (Otitis Interna)
- Dislocated Shoulder
- Depression FAQs
- Sleep FAQs
- Alcohol FAQs
- Fibromyalgia FAQs
- Epilepsy and Seizures FAQs
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder FAQs
- Stress FAQs
- Panic Attacks Disorder FAQs
- Insomnia FAQs
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Trouble Sleeping? Insomnia May Be Why
- 10 Tips to Avoid Insomnia and Get a Good Night's Sleep
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Propofol (Diprivan) Safety
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Acudial, Diastat Pediatric, Diazepam Intensol)
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Benzodiazepines (Benzodiazepine Drug Class)
- Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Valium (diazepam)
- Alprazolam vs. Diazepam (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
- Benzodiazepines vs. Narcotics (Opioids)
- Benzodiazepines vs. Cyclobenzaprine
- Haldol (haloperidol) vs. Ativan (lorazepam)
- Ativan Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
Prevention & Wellness
- Which Misused Prescription Meds Send Americans to the ER?
- Amnesia Affecting Some Opioid Abusers
- 1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: Study
- Girls Given Risky Meds Don't Get Contraceptive Advice
- Surgery Patients Might Not Need Sedative Before Anesthesia
- Anxiety Medications May Be Tied to Alzheimer's Risk
- Two Drugs Work Equally Well for Epileptic Seizures in Kids: Study
- Certain Sedatives Tied to Breathing Problems in Older COPD Patients
- Sedatives May Raise Pneumonia Risk
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