Ativan

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Generic Name: Ativan Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Ativan® (lorazepam) used for?

Ativan® belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Lorazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.

Ativan® is used to treat anxiety disorders.

Ativan® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How should I take Ativan® (lorazepam)?

Take Ativan® exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never use Ativan® in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms.

Lorazepam may be habit-forming. Never share Ativan® with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away Ativan® is against the law.

Ativan® should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medicine for longer than your doctor recommends.

Do not stop using Ativan® suddenly or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, including a seizure (convulsions). Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

Call your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your anxiety symptoms.

How do I store Ativan® (lorazepam)?

Ativan® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Ativan® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Ativan® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Ativan® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Ativan® (lorazepam)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Ativan® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Ativan® if you have narrow-angle glaucoma or myasthenia gravis, or if you are allergic to Valium or a similar medicine.

Lorazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Ativan® should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Do not drink alcohol while taking Ativan®. Lorazepam can increase the effects of alcohol.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Ativan® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Ativan®. Ativan® is pregnancy risk category D, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Ativan® (lorazepam)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of balance or coordination
  • Memory problems
  • 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
  • Upper stomach pain
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Ativan: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Ativan® (lorazepam)?

Ativan® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Any other medicines to treat anxiety
  • Probenecid
  • Aminophylline or theophylline
  • An antidepressant, or medicine to treat mental illness
  • A barbiturate such as phenobarbital
  • Narcotic pain medicine
  • Seizure medicine
  • Medicine that contains an antihistamine (such as sleep medicine, cold or allergy medicine)

Does food or alcohol interact with Ativan® (lorazepam)?

Ativan® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Ativan® (lorazepam)?

Ativan® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Kidney or liver disease (especially alcoholic liver disease);
  • Asthma or other breathing disorder
  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • A history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • A history of drug or alcohol addiction

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Ativan® (lorazepam).

What is the dose of Ativan® (lorazepam) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety:

Tablets:

  • Initial dose: 2 to 3 mg orally per day administered 2 to 3 times per day.
  • Maintenance dose: 1 to 2 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day.

Parenteral:

  • IV: 2 mg total, or 0.044 mg/kg, whichever is smaller.

Usual Adult Dose for Light Anesthesia:

  • IM: 0.05 mg/kg up to a maximum of 4 mg.
  • IV: 2 mg total, or 0.044 mg/kg, whichever is smaller.

Usual Adult Dose for Status Epilepticus:

  • 1 mg/kg IV up to 4 mg per dose; may repeat in 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Maximum dose: 8 mg.

Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia:

2 to 4 mg orally administered at bedtime.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Anxiety:

Elderly or debilitated patients:

  • 1 to 2 mg orally per day in divided doses.

What is the dose of Ativan® (lorazepam) for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anxiety:

12 years or older:

  • Initial dose: 2 to 3 mg orally per day administered 2 to 3 times per day.
  • Maintenance dose: 1 to 2 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Insomnia:

12 years or older:

  • 2 to 4 mg orally administered at bedtime.

How is Ativan® (lorazepam) available?

Ativan® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Injection
  • Tablet

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Ativan®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: July 7, 2017 | Last Modified: July 11, 2017

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