Generic Name: lorazepam, Oral tablet

Ativan

All Brands

  • Ativan
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for lorazepam

Oral tablet
1
LORAZEPAM (lor A ze pam) is a benzodiazepine. It is used to treat anxiety.
2
This drug also comes in other forms, including Parenteral SolutionOral Solution
3 4 5
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these conditions.
6
Know what to watch for and get tips for reducing your risks while taking this drug.
SECTION 2 of 4

lorazepam Side Effects

Oral tablet

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • changes in vision
  • confusion
  • depression
  • mood changes, excitability or aggressive behavior
  • movement difficulty, staggering or jerky movements
  • muscle cramps
  • restlessness
  • weakness or tiredness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation or diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping, nightmares
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
SECTION 3 of 4

lorazepam May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet
  • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures, like phenobarbital
  • clozapine
  • medicines for depression, mental problems or psychiatric disturbances
  • medicines for sleep
  • phenytoin
  • probenecid
  • theophylline
  • valproic acid
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take lorazepam (Dosage)

Oral tablet

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Dosage Information

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Anxiety disorders

Brand: Ativan

Form: Oral Tablet
Strengths: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg

The usual dose ranges from 2 mg to 6 mg per day in divided doses. The range may extend from 1 mg to 10 mg per day.

Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

The starting dose is 2–3 mg per day. The daily dose is divided evenly and taken two or three times per day, spaced evenly throughout the day.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage has not been established for people younger than 18 years.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body processes this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug does not build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

Special considerations
  • Liver disease: If you have liver disease, your doctor may start you at a lower dose and monitor your response more frequently. This is because it takes your body longer to remove the drug. A buildup of the drug in your body and increase your risk of side effects.
  • Acute narrow-angle glaucoma: Do not use this medication if you have a condition called acute narrow-angle glaucoma. If you have this condition and use this drug, it may result in eye problems

Warnings

  • Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. Combining this drug with alcohol could be fatal because it could cause you to stop breathing.
  • Use caution if operating dangerous machinery or motor vehicles.
  • You should not use this drug longer than 4 weeks. This drug can cause physical and psychological dependence. Using it for a long period can increase your risk of dependence.
  • Don’t stop using this drug all of a sudden. You may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

Insomnia due to anxiety or stress

Brand: Ativan

Form: Oral Tablet
Strengths: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg

The usual dose ranges from 2 mg to 6 mg per day in divided doses. The range may extend from 1 mg to 10 mg per day.

Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

The dose is 2–4 mg, taken once per day at bedtime.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage has not been established for people younger than 18 years.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body processes this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug does not build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

Special considerations
  • Liver disease: If you have liver disease, your doctor may start you at a lower dose and monitor your response more frequently. This is because it takes your body longer to remove the drug. A buildup of the drug in your body and increase your risk of side effects.
  • Acute narrow-angle glaucoma: Do not use this medication if you have a condition called acute narrow-angle glaucoma. If you have this condition and use this drug, it may result in eye problems

Warnings

  • Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication. Combining this drug with alcohol could be fatal because it could cause you to stop breathing.
  • Use caution if operating dangerous machinery or motor vehicles.
  • You should not use this drug longer than 4 weeks. This drug can cause physical and psychological dependence. Using it for a long period can increase your risk of dependence.
  • Don’t stop using this drug all of a sudden. You may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • alcohol or drug abuse problem
  • bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis or other mental health condition
  • glaucoma
  • kidney or liver disease
  • lung disease or breathing difficulties
  • myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • seizures or a history of seizures
  • suicidal thoughts
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lorazepam, other benzodiazepines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding
What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your body may become dependent on this medicine, ask your doctor or health care professional if you still need to take it. However, if you have been taking this medicine regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get severe side effects. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice before increasing or decreasing the dose. Even after you stop taking this medicine it can still affect your body for several days.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy and fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children. This medicine can be abused. Keep your medicine in a safe place to protect it from theft. Do not share this medicine with anyone. Selling or giving away this medicine is dangerous and against the law.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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Last Updated: June 19, 2009

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