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Lorazepam (By mouth)

Lorazepam (lor-AZ-e-pam)

Treats anxiety.

Brand Name(s):

Ativan, LORazepam Intensol

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to lorazepam or similar medicines, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Oral liquid:
    • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
    • Mix the medicine with water, juice, soda, applesauce, or pudding. Drink or eat the mixture right away. Do not store it for later use.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 1 hour late, skip the missed dose and wait until it is time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
    • Oral liquid: Refrigerate the oral liquid. Throw away an opened bottle after 90 days.
    • Tablets: Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how lorazepam works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Aminophylline, clozapine, probenecid, theophylline, valproate
    • Medicine to treat depression or mental health problems
    • Medicine to treat seizures
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung or breathing problems (such as COPD, sleep apnea), or a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, or seizures.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Confusion, unusual mood or behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Seizures
  • Severe drowsiness or weakness, slow heartbeat, trouble breathing
  • Worsening of depression

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dizziness, clumsiness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 10/4/2017
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