Ativan is used to treat anxiety disorders.
Ativan (lorazepam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Lorazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lorazepam and each time you get a refill. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. If directed by your doctor, use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses (more than 1-4 weeks) or if you have a history of alcoholism, drug abuse, or personality disorder.
Before taking lorazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness. Also, the elderly may not experience relief of anxiety with lorazepam.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, lung/breathing problems (such as sleep apnea), mental/mood disorders (such as depression, psychosis), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). You should not take Ativan if you have a narrow-angle glaucoma or a myasthenia gravis.
Possible side effect
The most common side effects are dizziness, drowsiness, slurred speech, lack of balance or coordination, weakness, memory problems or feeling unsteady. Call your doctor at once if you have severe drowsiness, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, unusual changes in mood or behavior, confusion, aggression, hallucinations, worsened sleep problems, sudden restless feeling or excitement, muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, trouble swallowing, vision changes or upper stomach pain, dark urine and jaundic.
Taking Ativan with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before taking Ativan with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression or seizures. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially: aminophylline or theophylline; probenecid; an antidepressant, medicine to treat mental illness; a barbiturate such as phenobarbital; narcotic pain medicine; seizure medicine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
An overdose of Ativan can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, loss of balance or coordination, feeling light-headed, and fainting.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
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