Lorazepam Uses, Side Effects & Interactions

Lorazepam is a drug that is commonly used to help make patients relax. This may be used to treat mental, emotional or physical conditions in a variety of age groups. There are a few dosing limitations that will need to be considered in order to ensure that the effects of the drug do not become overpowering. This could lead to an increased risk of side effects or dangerous conditions that could impact the overall health and safety of the patient. Working with a doctor to monitor your condition as you start your prescription can help avoid these issues. Most patients should also limit the length of their Lorazepam prescription to ensure that dependent behavior does not develop over time.

Indications and Usage

Lorazepam is typically used to treat anxiety and promote relaxation in patients. It can also be used to treat epilepsy, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome or extreme nausea and vomiting. Those having issues with alcohol withdrawal may be prescribed a temporary prescription to help deal with the agitation. These conditions will have very different directions for your prescription size and dosing schedule. Go over any instructions with your doctor and read the packaging carefully before you begin to take your medication. You can also go over additional instructions with your pharmacist.

Lorazepam is available in liquid and tablet form. The generic version of the drug is known as Ativan. Typically it is taken two to three times a day, and does not need to be taken with food. The liquid version will come with a dropper that you can use to measure out your dose. This version of the medication will be mixed with a beverage before you take it. Some find it easier to take the Lorazepam concentrate when it is mixed with applesauce or pudding. Do not mix these substances before you are ready to take your medication.

Lorazepam Dosage

The tablet version of Lorazepam is available in .5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg tablets. Most patients will take 2-6 mg daily in divided doses. Patients may be given up to 10 mg per day depending on the size of the individual and the severity of the condition being treated.

Those using Lorazepam for anxiety are typically given 2-3 mg per day and those dealing with insomnia are given 2-4 mg right before they go to bed for the night. Those who are using the liquid concentrate will be given a dose in milligrams that they are to measure out using the dropper which is provided. Your pharmacist can help you mark the proper line that you need to fill your dropper to for each dose.

Lorazepam Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Uncommon Side Effects

Uncommon side effects of Lorazepam include constipation, sex drive changes, disorientation, memory loss, fatigue, vertigo, vision changes and headaches. Those using the generic version saw an increased likelihood for developing impotence and hair loss. In most cases these side effects were not dangerous, but you should always report any abnormal effects to your doctor. If at any time your side effects appear life threatening do not hesitate to seek emergency medical services. Do not stop taking your prescription unless a medical professional tells you to.

Interactions

Lorazepam cannot be combined with CNS-based depressants. These will increase the effects of the drug, which could lead to an overdose or excessive symptoms which could be dangerous. CNS-based depressants include alcohol, antipsychotics, sedatives, barbiturates, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, anesthetics and narcotics. On a similar note, using medications that contain clozapine while you are taking Lorazepam can increase the sedation effects and cause salivation, delirium, respiratory arrest or hypotension.

In some cases, Lorazepam has interrupted valproate results which can lead to increased plasma concentrations. Due to the half-life decomposition of the drug being very slow, you many need to wait several hours before taking drugs that would include the theophylline, probenecid or aminophylline, as this can inhibit glucuronidation.

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