Generic Name: lorazepam (oral)
- What is lorazepam?
- What are the possible side effects of lorazepam?
- What is the most important information I should know about lorazepam?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lorazepam?
- How should I take lorazepam?
- What happens if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I overdose?
- What should I avoid while taking lorazepam?
- What other drugs will affect lorazepam?
- Where can I get more information?
What is lorazepam?
Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen) that is used to treat anxiety disorders.
It is dangerous to purchase lorazepam on the Internet or outside the United States. The sale and distribution of medicines outside the U.S. does not comply with safe-use regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These medications may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy.
Lorazepam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of lorazepam?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe drowsiness;
- unusual changes in mood or behavior;
- sudden restless feeling or excitement;
- thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- confusion, aggression, hallucinations;
- worsened sleep problems;
- vision changes; or
- dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness;
- weakness; or
- feeling unsteady.
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 the most important information I should know about lorazepam?
Fatal side effects can occur if you take lorazepam with alcohol, opioid medicine, or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Lorazepam may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lorazepam?
You should not take lorazepam if you have:
- narrow-angle glaucoma; or
- a history of allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Valium, Versed, Xanax, and others).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- breathing problems such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or sleep apnea (breathing that stops during sleep);
- drug or alcohol addiction;
- depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
- kidney or liver disease;
- seizures; or
If you use lorazepam while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.
You should not breastfeed while using lorazepam.
Lorazepam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.
How should I take lorazepam?
Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use lorazepam in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Lorazepam may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Do not take lorazepam for longer than 4 months unless your doctor tells you to. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.
Do not stop using lorazepam suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Store the liquid form of lorazepam in the refrigerator. Throw away any liquid not used within 90 days.
Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of lorazepam can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, feeling restless, muscle weakness, loss of balance or coordination, feeling light-headed, slow heartbeats, weak or shallow breathing, or coma.
What should I avoid while taking lorazepam?
Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
What other drugs will affect lorazepam?
Taking lorazepam with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, prescription cough medicine, or medicine for depression or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- probenecid, aminophylline, or theophylline;
- any other medicines to treat anxiety;
- medicine to treat mental illness;
- seizure medicine; or
- medicine that contains an antihistamine (such as sleep medicine, cold or allergy medicine).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect lorazepam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about lorazepam.