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Lorazepam(Ativan)


Uses

 

Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine used to treat conditions such as anxiety, seizures, and social phobia. Lorazepam acts on the central nervous system in different regions of the brain and can produce effects such as relaxation and sedation. It increases the effects of a substance called GABA within your body to produce these effects.

 

 

How to Use

 

Take this medication by mouth with water.

 

If this medication upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk to decrease this effect.

 

It is important to take this medication exactly as directed. Do not take it more often than prescribed.

 

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is already almost time for your next dose, take only that next dose. Do not double up on any dose.

 

 

Important Information

 

Do not stop taking this medication suddenly after taking it for a long period of time. It is important to gradually decrease the dose to avoid withdrawal effects. This medication can effect your body for several days following the discontinuation of use.

 

Your body can become dependent on this medication. Visit with your doctor regularly to determine if you still require this medication.

 

Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or engage in other activity that requires fine motor skills until you are sure of how this medication affects you.

 

Avoid alcohol consumption, alcohol can increase the chance of dizziness or drowsiness occurring.

 

Stand and sit slowly when first starting this medication to avoid dizziness.

 

Consult with your doctor before taking medications to self treat coughs and colds while taking this medication.

 

Monitor yourself for mood changes or development of depression or suicidal thoughts while taking this medication. Report effects like these to your healthcare provider right away.

 

 

Be sure that your prescribing doctor is aware if you have any of the the following conditions before taking this medication

 

Alcohol or drug use history, bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis, suicidal ideation, glaucoma, kidney disease, liver disease, lung conditions, myasthenia's gravis, Parkinson’s Disease, porphyria, history or allergic reactions, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

 

 

Side effects that should be immediately reported to your healthcare provider

 

Allergic reactions(hives, itching, swelling of the face or mouth), trouble breathing, confusion, depression, vision changes, hallucinations, mood changes, aggression or excitability, staggering or any movement changes including jerking movements and eye movements, tremors, muscle cramps.

 

 

Other Side Effects

 

Headache, constipation, sleep changes, increased salivation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness.

 

 

Adult Doses

 

Anxiety

 

2-3 mg by mouth per day divided into 2-3 doses as a starting dose. The dose is then increased or decreased according to the patient’s response.

 

 

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

 

2 mg by mouth every 6 hours for the starting dose. This dose is taken for 4 doses, after which the dose is decreased to 1 mg every 6 hours for another 8 doses.

 

 

Sources

 

1. Lorazepam oral tablets, lorazepam oral tablets[package insert]. Corona, CA: Watson Laboratories, Inc; 2008.

 

2. Mayo-Smith MF. Pharmacological management of alcohol withdrawal. A meta-analysis and evidence-based practice guideline. American Society of Addiction Medicine Working Group on Pharmacological Management of Alcohol Withdrawal. JAMA 1997; 278(2):144-151.


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