Ativan (lorazepam), an antianxiety agent, has the chemical formula, 7-chloro-5-(o-chlorophenyl)-1,3- dihydro-3-hydroxy-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one:
C15H10Cl2N2O2 MW: 321.16
It is a nearly white powder almost insoluble in water. Each Ativan (lorazepam) tablet, to be taken orally, contains 0.5 mg, 1 mg, or 2 mg of lorazepam. The inactive ingredients present are lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polacrilin potassium.
Ativan (lorazepam) is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.
The effectiveness of Ativan (lorazepam) in long-term use, that is, more than 4 months, has not been assessed by systematic clinical studies. The physician should periodically reassess the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Ativan (lorazepam) is administered orally. For optimal results, dose, frequency of administration, and duration of therapy should be individualized according to patient response. To facilitate this, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg tablets are available.
The usual range is 2 to 6 mg/day given in divided doses, the largest dose being taken before bedtime, but the daily dosage may vary from 1 to 10 mg/day.
For anxiety, most patients require an initial dose of 2 to 3 mg/day given two times a day or three times a day.
For insomnia due to anxiety or transient situational stress, a single daily dose of 2 to 4 mg may be given, usually at bedtime.
For elderly or debilitated patients, an initial dosage of 1 to 2 mg/day in divided doses is recommended, to be adjusted as needed and tolerated.
The dosage of Ativan (lorazepam) should be increased gradually when needed to help avoid adverse effects. When higher dosage is indicated, the evening dose should be increased before the daytime doses.
Discontinuation Or Dosage Reduction Of Ativan
To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue Ativan or reduce the dosage. If a patient develops withdrawal reactions, consider pausing the taper or increasing the dosage to the previous tapered dosage level. Subsequently decrease the dosage more slowly (see WARNINGS: Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions and Drug Abuse And Dependence: Dependence).
Ativan® (lorazepam) Tablets are available in the following dosage strengths:
0.5 mg, white, five-sided (shield shape) tablet with a raised “A” on one side and “BPI” and “63” impressed on reverse side.
NDC 0187-0063-01 -Bottles of 100 tablets.
1 mg, white, five-sided (shield shape) tablet with a raised “A” on one side and “BPI” and “64” impressed on scored reverse side.
NDC 0187-0064-01 -Bottles of 100 tablets.
NDC 0187-0064-10 -Bottles of 1,000 tablets.
2 mg, white, five-sided (regular pentagon) tablet with a raised “A” and impressed “2” on one side and “BPI” and “65” impressed on scored reverse side.
NDC 0187-0065-01 -Bottles of 100 tablets.
Keep bottles tightly closed.
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Dispense in a tight container.
Distributed by: Bausch Health US, LLC Bridgewater, NJ 08807 USA. Manufactured by: Bausch Health Companies Inc. Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z7, Canada. Revised : Jan 2023
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; syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (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).
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Bausch Health US, LLC at 1-800-3214576 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Ativan contains lorazepam, a Schedule IV controlled substance.
Ativan is a benzodiazepine and a CNS depressant with a potential for abuse and addiction. Abuse is the intentional, non-therapeutic use of a drug, even once, for its desirable psychological or physiological effects. Misuse is the intentional use, for therapeutic purposes, of a drug by an individual in a way other than prescribed by a healthcare provider or for whom it was not prescribed. Drug addiction is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that may include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling drug use (e.g., continuing drug use despite harmful consequences, giving a higher priority to drug use than other activities and obligations), and possible tolerance or physical dependence. Even taking benzodiazepines as prescribed may put patients at risk for abuse and misuse of their medication. Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines may lead to addiction.
Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines often (but not always) involve the use of doses greater than the maximum recommended dosage and commonly involve concomitant use of other medications, alcohol, and/or illicit substances, which is associated with an increased frequency of serious adverse outcomes, including respiratory depression, overdose, or death. Benzodiazepines are often sought by individuals who abuse drugs and other substances, and by individuals with addictive disorders (see WARNINGS: Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction).
The following adverse reactions have occurred with benzodiazepine abuse and/or misuse: abdominal pain, amnesia, anorexia, anxiety, aggression, ataxia, blurred vision, confusion, depression, disinhibition, disorientation, dizziness, euphoria, impaired concentration and memory, indigestion, irritability, muscle pain, slurred speech, tremors, and vertigo.
The following severe adverse reactions have occurred with benzodiazepine abuse and/or misuse: delirium, paranoia, suicidal ideation and behavior, seizures, coma, breathing difficulty, and death. Death is more often associated with polysubstance use (especially benzodiazepines with other CNS depressants such as opioids and alcohol).
Ativan may produce physical dependence from continued therapy. Physical dependence is a state that develops as a result of physiological adaptation in response to repeated drug use, manifested by withdrawal signs and symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of benzodiazepines or administration of flumazenil, a benzodiazepine antagonist, may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, including seizures, which can be life-threatening. Patients at an increased risk of withdrawal adverse reactions after benzodiazepine discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction include those who take higher dosages (i.e., higher and/or more frequent doses) and those who have had longer durations of use (see WARNINGS: Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions).
To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue Ativan or reduce the dosage (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Discontinuation or Dosage Reduction of Ativan and WARNINGS).
Acute Withdrawal Signs And Symptoms
Acute withdrawal signs and symptoms associated with benzodiazepines have included abnormal involuntary movements, anxiety, blurred vision, depersonalization, depression, derealization, dizziness, fatigue, gastrointestinal adverse reactions (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite), headache, hyperacusis, hypertension, irritability, insomnia, memory impairment, muscle pain and stiffness, panic attacks, photophobia, restlessness, tachycardia, and tremor. More severe acute withdrawal signs and symptoms, including life-threatening reactions, have included catatonia, convulsions, delirium tremens, depression, hallucinations, mania, psychosis, seizures and suicidality.
Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome
Protracted withdrawal syndrome associated with benzodiazepines is characterized by anxiety, cognitive impairment, depression, insomnia, formication, motor symptoms (e.g., weakness, tremor, muscle twitches), paresthesia, and tinnitus that persists beyond 4 to 6 weeks after initial benzodiazepine withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal symptoms may last weeks to more than 12 months. As a result, there may be difficulty in differentiating withdrawal symptoms from potential re-emergence or continuation of symptoms for which the benzodiazepine was being used.
Tolerance to Ativan may develop from continued therapy. Tolerance is a physiological state characterized by a reduced response to a drug after repeated administration (i.e., a higher dose of a drug is required to produce the same effect that was once obtained at a lower dose). Tolerance to the therapeutic effect of Ativan may develop; however, little tolerance develops to the amnestic reactions and other cognitive impairments caused by benzodiazepines.
The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and monitor patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation.
The benzodiazepines, including Ativan (lorazepam), produce increased CNS-depressant effects when administered with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, antipsychotics, sedative/hypnotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, narcotic analgesics, sedative antihistamines, anticonvulsants, and anesthetics.
Concurrent administration of lorazepam with valproate results in increased plasma concentrations and reduced clearance of lorazepam. Lorazepam dosage should be reduced to approximately 50% when coadministered with valproate.
Concurrent administration of lorazepam with probenecid may result in a more rapid onset or prolonged effect of lorazepam due to increased half-life and decreased total clearance. Lorazepam dosage needs to be reduced by approximately 50% when coadministered with probenecid.
The effects of probenecid and valproate on lorazepam may be due to inhibition of glucuronidation.
Administration of theophylline or aminophylline may reduce the sedative effects of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam.
Risks From Concomitant Use With Opioids
Concomitant use of benzodiazepines, including Ativan, and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioids alone. If a decision is made to prescribe Ativan concomitantly with opioids, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use, and follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of Ativan than indicated in the absence of an opioid and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid is initiated in a patient already taking Ativan, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid and titrate based upon clinical response.
Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when Ativan is used with opioids. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined (see DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Abuse, Misuse, And Addiction
The use of benzodiazepines, including Ativan, exposes users to the risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction, which can lead to overdose or death. Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines often (but not always) involve the use of doses greater than the maximum recommended dosage and commonly involve concomitant use of other medications, alcohol, and/or illicit substances, which is associated with an increased frequency of serious adverse outcomes, including respiratory depression, overdose, or death (see Drug Abuse And Dependence: Abuse).
Before prescribing Ativan and throughout treatment, assess each patientâ€™s risk for abuse, misuse, and addiction (e.g., using a standardized screening tool). Use of Ativan, particularly in patients at elevated risk, necessitates counseling about the risks and proper use of Ativan along with monitoring for signs and symptoms of abuse, misuse, and addiction. Prescribe the lowest effective dosage; avoid or minimize concomitant use of CNS depressants and other substances associated with abuse, misuse, and addiction (e.g., opioid analgesics, stimulants); and advise patients on the proper disposal of unused drug. If a substance use disorder is suspected, evaluate the patient and institute (or refer them for) early treatment, as appropriate.
Dependence And Withdrawal Reactions
To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue Ativan or reduce the dosage (a patient-specific plan should be used to taper the dose)(see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Discontinuation or Dosage Reduction of Ativan).
Patients at an increased risk of withdrawal adverse reactions after benzodiazepine discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction include those who take higher dosages, and those who have had longer durations of use.
Acute Withdrawal Reactions
The continued use of benzodiazepines, including Ativan, may lead to clinically significant physical dependence. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of Ativan after continued use, or administration of flumazenil (a benzodiazepine antagonist) may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, which can be life-threatening (e.g., seizures) (see Drug Abuse And Dependence: Dependence).
Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome
In some cases, benzodiazepine users have developed a protracted withdrawal syndrome with withdrawal symptoms lasting weeks to more than 12 months (see Drug Abuse And Dependence: Dependence).
Pre-existing depression may emerge or worsen during use of benzodiazepines including lorazepam. Ativan (lorazepam) is not recommended for use in patients with a primary depressive disorder or psychosis.
Use of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam, both used alone and in combination with other CNS depressants, may lead to potentially fatal respiratory depression (see PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS).
As with all patients on CNS-depressant drugs, patients receiving lorazepam should be warned not to operate dangerous machinery or motor vehicles and that their tolerance for alcohol and other CNS depressants will be diminished.
Neonatal Sedation And Withdrawal Syndrome
Use of Ativan late in pregnancy can result in sedation (respiratory depression, lethargy, hypotonia) and/or withdrawal symptoms (hyperreflexia, irritability, restlessness, tremors, inconsolable crying, and feeding difficulties) in the neonate (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy). Monitor neonates exposed to Ativan during pregnancy or labor for signs of sedation and monitor neonates exposed to Ativan during pregnancy for signs of withdrawal; manage these neonates accordingly.
In patients with depression, a possibility for suicide should be borne in mind; benzodiazepines should not be used in such patients without adequate antidepressant therapy.
Elderly or debilitated patients may be more susceptible to the sedative effects of lorazepam. Therefore, these patients should be monitored frequently and have their dosage adjusted carefully according to patient response; the initial dosage should not exceed 2 mg.
Paradoxical reactions have been occasionally reported during benzodiazepine use. Such reactions may be more likely to occur in children and the elderly. Should these occur, use of the drug should be discontinued.
The usual precautions for treating patients with impaired renal or hepatic function should be observed. As with all benzodiazepines, the use of lorazepam may worsen hepatic encephalopathy; therefore, lorazepam should be used with caution in patients with severe hepatic insufficiency and/or encephalopathy. Dosage for patients with severe hepatic insufficiency should be adjusted carefully according to patient response; lower doses may be sufficient in such patients.
In patients where gastrointestinal or cardiovascular disorders coexist with anxiety, it should be noted that lorazepam has not been shown to be of significant benefit in treating the gastrointestinal or cardiovascular component.
Esophageal dilation occurred in rats treated with lorazepam for more than 1 year at 6 mg/kg/day. The no-effect dose was 1.25 mg/kg/day (approximately 6 times the maximum human therapeutic dose of 10 mg/day). The effect was reversible only when the treatment was withdrawn within 2 months of first observation of the phenomenon. The clinical significance of this is unknown. However, use of lorazepam for prolonged periods and in geriatric patients requires caution, and there should be frequent monitoring for symptoms of upper GI disease.
Safety and effectiveness of Ativan (lorazepam) in children of less than 12 years have not been established.
Information For Patients
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).
Risks From Concomitant Use With Opioids
Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of potentially fatal respiratory depression and sedation when Ativan is used with opioids and not to use such drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a healthcare provider. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined (see WARNINGS: Risks from Concomitant Use of Opioids and DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Abuse, Misuse, And Addiction
Inform patients that the use of Ativan even at recommended doses, exposes users to risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death, especially when used in combination with other medications (e.g., opioid analgesics), alcohol, and/or illicit substances. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse, misuse, and addiction; to seek medical help if they develop these signs and/or symptoms; and on the proper disposal of unused drug (see WARNINGS: Abuse Misuse, and Addiction and Drug Abuse And Dependence).
Inform patients that the continued use of Ativan may lead to clinically significant physical dependence and that abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of Ativan may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, which can be life-threatening. Inform patients that in some cases, patients taking benzodiazepines have developed a protracted withdrawal syndrome with withdrawal symptoms lasting weeks to more than 12 months. Instruct patients that discontinuation or dosage reduction of Ativan may require a slow taper (see WARNINGS: Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions and Drug Abuse And Dependence).
Advise pregnant females that use of Ativan late in pregnancy can result in sedation (respiratory depression, lethargy, hypotonia) and/or withdrawal symptoms (hyperreflexia, irritability, restlessness, tremors, inconsolable crying, and feeding difficulties) in newborns (see WARNINGS: Neonatal Sedation and Withdrawal Syndrome and PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy). Instruct patients to inform their healthcare provider if they are pregnant.
Advise patients that there is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to Ativan during pregnancy (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy).
Instruct patients to notify their healthcare provider if they are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed. Instruct breastfeeding patients using Ativan to monitor infants for excessive sedation, poor feeding and poor weight gain, and to seek medical attention if they notice these signs (see PRECAUTIONS: Nursing Mothers).
Essential Laboratory Tests
Some patients on Ativan (lorazepam) have developed leukopenia, and some have had elevations of LDH. As with other benzodiazepines, periodic blood counts and liver function tests are recommended for patients on long-term therapy.
Carcinogenesis And Mutagenesis
No evidence of carcinogenic potential emerged in rats during an 18-month study with Ativan (lorazepam). No studies regarding mutagenesis have been performed.
Pregnancy Exposure Registry
There is a pregnancy registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to psychiatric medications, including Ativan, during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications at 1-866-961-2388 or visiting online at https://womensmentalhealth.org/pregnancyregistry/.
Neonates born to mothers using benzodiazepines late in pregnancy have been reported to experience symptoms of sedation and/or neonatal withdrawal (see WARNINGS: Neonatal Sedation and Withdrawal Syndrome and Clinical Considerations). Available data from published observational studies of pregnant women exposed to benzodiazepines do not report a clear association with benzodiazepines and major birth defects (see Data).
The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated risk of major birth defects and of miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Benzodiazepines cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression, hypotonia and sedation in neonates. Monitor neonates exposed to Ativan during pregnancy or labor for signs of sedation, respiratory depression, hypotonia, and feeding problems. Monitor neonates exposed to Ativan during pregnancy for signs of withdrawal. Manage these neonates accordingly (see WARNINGS: Neonatal Sedation and Withdrawal Syndrome).
Published data from observational studies on the use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy do not report a clear association with benzodiazepines and major birth defects. Although early studies reported an increased risk of congenital malformations with diazepam and chlordiazepoxide, there was no consistent pattern noted. In addition, the majority of more recent case-control and cohort studies of benzodiazepine use during pregnancy, which were adjusted for confounding exposures to alcohol, tobacco and other medications, have not confirmed these findings.
Reproductive studies in animals were performed in mice, rats, and two strains of rabbits. Occasional anomalies (reduction of tarsals, tibia, metatarsals, malrotated limbs, gastroschisis, malformed skull, and microphthalmia) were seen in drug-treated rabbits without relationship to dosage. Although all of these anomalies were not present in the concurrent control group, they have been reported to occur randomly in historical controls. At doses of 40 mg/kg and higher, there was evidence of fetal resorption and increased fetal loss in rabbits which was not seen at lower doses.
Lorazepam is present in breast milk. There are reports of sedation, poor feeding and poor weight gain in infants exposed to benzodiazepines through breast milk. The effects of lorazepam on milk production are unknown. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the motherâ€™s clinical need for Ativan and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from Ativan or from the underlying maternal condition.
Infants exposed to Ativan through breast milk should be monitored for sedation, poor feeding and poor weight gain.
Clinical studies of Ativan generally were not adequate to determine whether subjects aged 65 and over respond differently than younger subjects; however, the incidence of sedation and unsteadiness was observed to increase with age (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Age does not appear to have a significant effect on lorazepam kinetics (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Clinical circumstances, some of which may be more common in the elderly, such as hepatic or renal impairment, should be considered. Greater sensitivity (e.g., sedation) of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, and lower doses may be sufficient in these patients (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Overdosage of benzodiazepines is characterized by central nervous system depression ranging from drowsiness to coma. In mild to moderate cases, symptoms can include drowsiness, confusion, dysarthria, lethargy, hypnotic state, diminished reflexes, ataxia, and hypotonia. Rarely, paradoxical or disinhibitory reactions (including agitation, irritability, impulsivity, violent behavior, confusion, restlessness, excitement, and talkativeness) may occur. In severe overdosage cases, patients may develop respiratory depression and coma. Overdosage of benzodiazepines in combination with other CNS depressants (including alcohol and opioids) may be fatal (see WARNINGS: Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction). Markedly abnormal (lowered or elevated) blood pressure, heart rate, or respiratory rate raise the concern that additional drugs and/or alcohol are involved in the overdosage.
In managing benzodiazepine overdosage, employ general supportive measures, including intravenous fluids and airway management. Flumazenil, a specific benzodiazepine receptor antagonist indicated for the complete or partial reversal of the sedative effects of benzodiazepines in the management of benzodiazepine overdosage, can lead to withdrawal and adverse reactions, including seizures, particularly in the context of mixed overdosage with drugs that increase seizure risk (e.g., tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants) and in patients with long-term benzodiazepine use and physical dependency. The risk of withdrawal seizures with flumazenil use may be increased in patients with epilepsy. Flumazenil is contraindicated in patients who have received a benzodiazepine for control of a potentially life-threatening condition (e.g., status epilepticus). If the decision is made to use flumazenil, it should be used as an adjunct to, not as a substitute for, supportive management of benzodiazepine overdosage. See the flumazenil injection Prescribing Information.
Consider contacting the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222) or a medical toxicologist for additional overdosage management recommendations.
Ativan (lorazepam) is contraindicated in patients with:
- hypersensitivity to benzodiazepines or to any components of the formulation
- acute narrow-angle glaucoma.
Studies in healthy volunteers show that in single high doses Ativan (lorazepam) has a tranquilizing action on the central nervous system with no appreciable effect on the respiratory or cardiovascular systems.
Ativan (lorazepam) is readily absorbed with an absolute bioavailability of 90%. Peak concentrations in plasma occur approximately 2 hours following administration. The peak plasma level of lorazepam from a 2 mg dose is approximately 20 ng/mL.
The mean half-life of unconjugated lorazepam in human plasma is about 12 hours and for its major metabolite, lorazepam glucuronide, about 18 hours. At clinically relevant concentrations, lorazepam is approximately 85% bound to plasma proteins. Ativan (lorazepam) is rapidly conjugated at its 3-hydroxy group into lorazepam glucuronide which is then excreted in the urine. Lorazepam glucuronide has no demonstrable central nervous system (CNS) activity in animals.
The plasma levels of lorazepam are proportional to the dose given. There is no evidence of accumulation of lorazepam on administration up to 6 months.
Studies comparing young and elderly subjects have shown that advancing age does not have a significant effect on the pharmacokinetics of lorazepam. However, in one study involving single intravenous doses of 1.5 to 3 mg of Ativan Injection, mean total body clearance of lorazepam decreased by 20% in 15 elderly subjects of 60 to 84 years of age compared to that in 15 younger subjects of 19 to 38 years of age.
What is the most important information I should know about ATIVAN?
- ATIVAN is a benzodiazepine medicine. Taking benzodiazepines with opioid medicines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants (including street drugs) can cause severe drowsiness, breathing problems (respiratory depression), coma and death. Get emergency help right away if any of the following happens:
- shallow or slowed breathing
- breathing stops (which may lead to the heart stopping)
- excessive sleepiness (sedation)
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how taking ATIVAN with opioids affects you.
- Risk of abuse, misuse, and addiction. There is a risk of abuse, misuse, and addiction with benzodiazepines including ATIVAN which can lead to overdose and serious side effects including coma and death.
- Serious side effects including coma and death have happened in people who have abused or misused benzodiazepines, including ATIVAN. These serious side effects may also include delirium, paranoia, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, and difficulty breathing. Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you get any of these serious side effects.
- You can develop an addiction even if you take ATIVAN exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Take ATIVAN exactly as your healthcare provider prescribed.
- Do not share your ATIVAN with other people.
- Keep ATIVAN in a safe place and away from children.
- Physical dependence and withdrawal reactions. ATIVAN can cause physical dependence and withdrawal reactions.
- Do not suddenly stop taking ATIVAN. Stopping ATIVAN suddenly can cause serious and life-threatening side effects, including, unusual movements, responses or expressions, seizures, sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes, depression, seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear, an extreme increase in activity or talking, losing touch with reality, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you get any of these symptoms.
- Some people who suddenly stop benzodiazepines have symptoms that can last for several weeks to more than 12 months, including anxiety, trouble remembering, learning, or concentrating, depression, problems sleeping, feeling like insects are crawling under your skin, weakness, shaking, muscle twitching, burning or prickling feeling in your hands, arms, legs or feet, and ringing in your ears.
- Physical dependence is not the same as drug addiction. Your healthcare provider can tell you more about the differences between physical dependence and drug addiction.
- Do not take more ATIVAN than prescribed or take ATIVAN for longer than prescribed.
What is ATIVAN?
- ATIVAN is a prescription medicine used:
- to treat anxiety disorders
- for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety that can happen with symptoms of depression
- ATIVAN is a federal controlled substance (CIV) because it contains lorazepam that can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep ATIVAN in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away ATIVAN may harm others, and is against the law. Tell your healthcare provider if you have abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.
- It is not known if ATIVAN is safe and effective for use in children less than 12 years of age.
- It is not known if ATIVAN is safe and effective for use for longer than 4 months.
Do not take ATIVAN if you:
- are allergic to lorazepam, other benzodiazepines, or any of the ingredients in ATIVAN. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in ATIVAN.
Before you take ATIVAN, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
- have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction
- have lung disease or breathing problems (such as COPD, sleep apnea syndrome)
- have liver or kidney problems
- have or have had seizures
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- Taking ATIVAN late in pregnancy may cause your baby to have symptoms of sedation (breathing problems, sluggishness, low muscle tone), and/or withdrawal symptoms (jitteriness, irritability, restlessness, shaking, excessive crying, feeding problems).
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant during treatment with ATIVAN.
- There is a pregnancy registry for women who take ATIVAN during pregnancy. The purpose of the registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. If you become pregnant during treatment with ATIVAN, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications. You can register by calling 1-866-961-2388 or visiting https://womensmentalhealth.org/pregnancyregistry/.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. ATIVAN passes into your breast milk.
- Breastfeeding during treatment with ATIVAN may cause your baby to have sleepiness, feeding problems, and decreased weight gain.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take ATIVAN.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and overthe-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Taking ATIVAN with certain other medicines can cause side effects or affect how well ATIVAN or the other medicines work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your healthcare provider.
How should I take ATIVAN?
- Take ATIVAN exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much ATIVAN to take and when to take it.
- If you take too much ATIVAN, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.
What are the possible side effects of ATIVAN?
ATIVAN may cause serious side effects, including:
- See “What is the most important information I should know about ATIVAN?”
- ATIVAN can make you sleepy or dizzy and can slow your thinking and motor skills.
- Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how ATIVAN affects you.
- Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that may make you sleepy or dizzy while taking ATIVAN without first talking to your healthcare provider. When taken with alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness or dizziness, ATIVAN may make your sleepiness or dizziness much worse.
- Depression. Pre-existing depression may emerge or worsen during use of benzodiazepines including ATIVAN.
The most common side effects of ATIVAN include:
These are not all the possible side effects of ATIVAN. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store ATIVAN?
- Store ATIVAN in a tightly closed container at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
- Keep ATIVAN and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about the safe and effective use of ATIVAN Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use ATIVAN for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give ATIVAN to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about ATIVAN that is written for health professionals.
What are the ingredients in ATIVAN?
Active ingredient: lorazepam
Inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polacrilin potassium.
This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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.