"What are benzodiazepines, and how do they work?
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs primarily used for treating anxiety, but they also are effective in treating several other conditions. The exact mechanism of action of benzodiaz"...
Ativan Side Effects Center
Pharmacy Editor: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Ativan (lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine used for the management of anxiety disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, and alcohol withdrawal. A generic formulation of Ativan is available. Common side effects of Ativan include sedation, dizziness, weakness, and headache. Like all benzodiazepines, Ativan can cause physical dependence. Suddenly stopping therapy may be associated with agitation, insomnia, seizures, tremors, vomiting, and sweating.
The usual dose of Ativan for treating anxiety is 2-3 mg/day given in two or three divided doses. Insomnia is treated with 2-4 mg given at bedtime. Ativan and other benzodiazepines have been associated with fetal damage, including congenital malformations, when taken by pregnant women in their first trimester. Ativan is best avoided if at all possible in the first trimester and probably throughout pregnancy. It is not known if Ativan is secreted in breast milk.
Our Ativan Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Ativan in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- hyperactivity, agitation, hostility;
- hallucinations; or
- feeling light-headed, fainting.
Less serious side effects may include:
- drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness;
- blurred vision;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- muscle weakness, lack of balance or coordination;
- amnesia or forgetfulness, trouble concentrating;
- nausea, vomiting, constipation;
- appetite changes; or
- skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Ativan (Lorazepam)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Ativan Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any unlikely but serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations, depression, thoughts of suicide), slurred speech or difficulty talking, vision changes, unusual weakness, trouble walking, memory problems, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), trouble breathing (especially during sleep).
Get medical help right away if you have any rare but very serious side effects, including: yellowing eyes or skin, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Ativan (Lorazepam)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Ativan FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Most adverse reactions to benzodiazepines, including CNS effects and respiratory depression, are dose dependent, with more severe effects occurring with high doses.
In a sample of about 3500 patients treated for anxiety, the most frequent adverse reaction to Ativan (lorazepam) was sedation (15.9%), followed by dizziness (6.9%), weakness (4.2%), and unsteadiness (3.4%). The incidence of sedation and unsteadiness increased with age.
Other adverse reactions to benzodiazepines, including lorazepam are fatigue, drowsiness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion, disorientation, depression, unmasking of depression, disinhibition, euphoria, suicidal ideation/attempt, ataxia, asthenia, extrapyramidal symptoms, convulsions/seizures tremor, vertigo, eye-function/visual disturbance (including diplopia and blurred vision), dysarthria/slurred speech, change in libido, impotence, decreased orgasm; headache, coma; respiratory depression, apnea, worsening of sleep apnea, worsening of obstructive pulmonary disease; gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, change in appetite, constipation, jaundice, increase in bilirubin, increase in liver transaminases, increase in alkaline phosphatase; hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reactions; dermatological symptoms, allergic skin reactions, alopecia; SIADH, hyponatremia; thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia; hypothermia; and autonomic manifestations.
Paradoxical reactions, including anxiety, excitation, agitation, hostility, aggression, rage, sleep disturbances/insomnia, sexual arousal, and hallucinations may occur. Small decreases in blood pressure and hypotension may occur but are usually not clinically significant, probably being related to the relief of anxiety produced by Ativan (lorazepam).
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ativan (Lorazepam)
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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