What is Lorazepam and how does it work?
Lorazepam belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves to create a calming effect. This medicine shows its effects by enhancing the level of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA). This medicine may also be useful for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Insomnia is a medical condition that involves poor sleep quality and or quantity of sleep during a period.
What are the dosages of Lorazepam?
Lorazepam is taken orally. For the best results, the dose, frequency of administration, and duration of therapy should be personalized according to the patient’s condition and response to the medicine.
For anxiety, most patients require an initial dose of 2 to 3 mg in a day given 2-3 times a day.
For insomnia, due to anxiety or transient stress, it is advised to take a single dose of 2-4 mg daily, usually at bedtime.
For elderly patients, an initial 1 to 2mg/day in divided dose is recommended, to be adjusted as
per need or tolerance.
The dosage of Lorazepam should be increased gradually when needed to help avoid adverse effects.
What are the side effects associated with Lorazepam?
Most adverse reactions to benzodiazepines, including CNS effects and respiratory depression, are dose-dependent with more severe effects occurring with high doses.
Side effects of Lorazepam include:
- Suicidal ideation/attempt
- Spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Sleep apnea
- Extrapyramidal symptoms (muscle spasms, restlessness, jerky movements)
- Loss of control of bodily movements (ataxia)
- Respiratory depression
- Visual disturbances
- Difficulty speaking
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Change in libido, impotence
- Yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Change in appetite
- Anxiety, excitation, agitation, hostility, aggression, rage
- Blood dyscrasias
- Increased bilirubin
- Increased liver transaminases
- Increase in ALP
This list may not include all the possible side effects. Consult with your doctor to get additional information about common problems or negative side effects associated with this anti-anxiety medicine. Call your doctor to get medical advice immediately when side effects occur.
What other drugs will affect Lorazepam?
Taking Lorazepam with other medicines can make you sleepy or slow your breathing or even cause some dangerous side effects. Ask your doctor before using any opioid medicine, a muscle relaxer, a sleeping medicine, or another medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your medicines, especially sodium oxybate and valerian. This is not a complete list of medicines that contain interactions with Lorazepam. Almost 191 different drugs are having moderate interactions with Lorazepam (Ativan) and at least 36 different drugs with mild interactions.
Consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns related to health.
What happens when you miss a dose or overdose?
Take this medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at a time.
An overdose of Lorazepam 2mg can be serious if you take it with alcohol, opioid medicine, or other medicines which may cause drowsiness or slow your breathing. Overdose symptoms may include confusion, slurred speech, feeling restless, muscle weakness, loss of balance or coordination, weak or shallow breathing, or coma. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you get any of these symptoms.
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