Ativan

Prescription required

Ativan

Available Form:  

S/L TABLET

Manufacturer name:  

Pfizer

Generic name:  

LORAZEPAM

Strength:  

0.5MG, 1MG, 2MG

What is Ativan?

Ativan (Lorazepam) belongs to the class of medications called benzodiazepines. Ativan (Lorazepam) is used for the short-term relief of the symptoms of excessive anxiety.

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Ativan How to Take

Ativan (Lorazepam) belongs to the class of medications called benzodiazepines. Ativan (Lorazepam) is used for the short-term relief of the symptoms of excessive anxiety. It works by slowing down the communication between the nerves in the brain (i.e., the central nervous system).

Some people experience some improvement in anxiety about half an hour after taking Ativan (Lorazepam). Injectable Ativan (Lorazepam) can be used as an initial treatment for the control of prolonged seizures (status epilepticus).

Ativan (Lorazepam) may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of Ativan (Lorazepam) may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of Ativan (Lorazepam) may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested Ativan (Lorazepam) for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking Ativan (Lorazepam), speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking Ativan (Lorazepam) without consulting your doctor.

Do not give Ativan (Lorazepam) to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take Ativan (Lorazepam) if their doctor has not prescribed it.

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Discreet Packaging

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Ativan Dosage

Anxiety: The recommended starting dose of Ativan (Lorazepam) for adults is 2 mg per day, given in divided doses. The dose is individualized according to your specific needs and response to the medication. This dose can be increased by your doctor to as high as a total of 6 mg per day in 2 to 4 divided doses.

If you are taking the sublingual tablets, place the tablet under the tongue. The medication will dissolve in about 20 seconds. You should not swallow for at least 2 minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed into the body.

Seizures: The dose of injectable Ativan (Lorazepam) for seizures is based on body weight and given by a trained health care provider in a hospital.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take Ativan (Lorazepam) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you have been taking Ativan (Lorazepam) regularly, do not stop taking the medication without speaking with your doctor. A gradual reduction in dose is recommended when stopping Ativan (Lorazepam) to avoid withdrawal effects.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store Ativan (Lorazepam) tablets at room temperature, protect from light and moisture, and keep them out of the reach of children. The Ativan (Lorazepam) injection is stored in the fridge.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Ativan Side Effects

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes Ativan (Lorazepam). If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of Ativan (Lorazepam) with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking Ativan (Lorazepam). Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • nightmares
  • sleep disturbance
  • slurred speech
  • symptoms of Low Blood Pressure (e.g., fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, increased thirst, nausea)
  • weakness

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • abnormal thinking (disorientation, delusions, or loss of sense of reality)
  • anxiety
  • behavioural changes (e.g., aggressiveness, angry outburst)
  • blurred vision or other changes in vision
  • confusion
  • false sense of well-being
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • inappropriate behavior
  • memory problems
  • muscle weakness
  • signs of Depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
  • signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, Diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • breathing difficulties
  • chest pain
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
  • symptoms of myasthenia gravis (e.g., muscle weakness, drooping eyelid, vision changes, difficulty chewing and swallowing, trouble breathing)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking Ativan (Lorazepam).

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Ativan Available Form

Oral tablets

0.5 mg
Each white, round, flat tablet, engraved with "W" on one side and "0.5" on the other side, contains 0.5 mg of Ativan (Lorazepam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polacrilin potassium. Ativan (Lorazepam) does not contain gluten or tartrazine.

1 mg
Each white, scored, oblong tablet, engraved with "Ativan" on one side and "1" on the other side, contains 1 mg of Ativan (Lorazepam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polacrilin potassium. Ativan (Lorazepam) does not contain gluten or tartrazine.

2 mg
Each white, scored, ovoid tablet, engraved with "Ativan" on one side and "2" on the other side, contains 2 mg of Ativan (Lorazepam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polacrilin potassium. Ativan (Lorazepam) does not contain gluten or tartrazine.

Sublingual tablets

0.5 mg
Each pale green, round, flat tablet, engraved with "W" on one side and "0.5" on the other side, contains 0.5 mg of Ativan (Lorazepam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake, lactose, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose. Ativan (Lorazepam) does not contain gluten or tartrazine.

1 mg
Each white, round, flat tablet, engraved with "W" on one side and "1" on the other side, contains 1 mg of Ativan (Lorazepam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, lactose, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose. Ativan (Lorazepam) does not contain gluten or tartrazine.

2 mg
Each blue, round, flat tablet, engraved with "W" on one side and "2" on the other side, contains 2 mg of Ativan (Lorazepam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, lactose, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose. Ativan (Lorazepam) does not contain gluten or tartrazine.

Ativan Contraindications

Do not take Ativan (Lorazepam) if you:

  • are allergic to Ativan (Lorazepam), other benzodiazepines, or any ingredients of the medication
  • have acute narrow-angle Glaucoma
  • have Myasthenia Gravis
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Personalized PocketPacks

We sort your medication into clearly labeled, individual packs so you can be sure you're taking the right dose at the right time.

Ativan Precautions

There may be an interaction between Ativan (Lorazepam) and any of the following:

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with Ativan (Lorazepam). Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the Nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications; you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

Ativan Warnings

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or Allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use Ativan (Lorazepam).

HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY

October 30, 2020

Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like prescription drugs. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.

Alcohol and other medications that cause drowsiness: People taking Ativan (Lorazepam) should not combine it with alcohol and avoid combining it with other medications, such as narcotic pain relievers, that cause drowsiness. Doing so can cause additive drowsiness and reduced breathing, as well as other side effects, which can be dangerous.

Allergic reaction: Some people may develop a serious allergic reaction to Ativan (Lorazepam). Signs of an allergic reaction include a severe rash, Hives, swollen face or throat, or difficulty breathing. If these occur, seek immediate medical attention.

Dependence and withdrawal: Physical dependence (a need to take regular doses to prevent physical symptoms) has been associated with benzodiazepines such as Ativan (Lorazepam). Severe withdrawal symptoms may be experienced if the dose is significantly reduced or suddenly discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • abdominal cramps
  • agitation
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • extreme anxiety
  • headache
  • irritability
  • memory impairment
  • muscle pain
  • nervousness
  • restlessness
  • sleep problems
  • tension
  • tremors
  • vomiting

Reducing the dose gradually under medical supervision can help prevent or decrease these withdrawal symptoms. If you have a history of addiction or Substance Use Problems, discuss the risks and benefits of the medication with your doctor.

Depression: People who have preexisting depression may experience emerging or worsening symptoms of depression while taking Ativan (Lorazepam). If you experience this, contact your doctor as soon as possible. People with depression should be treated with appropriate antidepressant therapy.

If you experience symptoms of depression such as poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, or notice them in a family member who is taking Ativan (Lorazepam) contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: People taking Ativan (Lorazepam) should not drive a car or perform hazardous tasks until they determine that Ativan (Lorazepam) does not impair their ability to perform these tasks safely. Avoid drinking alcohol, as it can increase the drowsiness effects of Ativan (Lorazepam).

Kidney function: Kidney Disease or reduced kidney function may cause Ativan (Lorazepam) to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how Ativan (Lorazepam) may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Ativan (Lorazepam), and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause Ativan (Lorazepam) to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how Ativan (Lorazepam) may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Ativan (Lorazepam), and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking Ativan (Lorazepam).

If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.

Lung disease: If you have underlying lung disease (e.g., COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Sleep Apnea), discuss with your doctor how Ativan (Lorazepam) may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Ativan (Lorazepam), and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Pregnancy: Taking Ativan (Lorazepam) during the first trimester of pregnancy may result in an increased risk of certain birth defects. Ativan (Lorazepam) should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking Ativan (Lorazepam), contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: Ativan (Lorazepam) passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking Ativan (Lorazepam), it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of using Ativan (Lorazepam) have not been established for those under 18 years of age.

Seniors: Seniors may be more likely to experience side effects of Ativan (Lorazepam), such as sedation (drowsiness) and impaired coordination. Seniors should discuss with their doctor the risks and benefits of taking Ativan (Lorazepam).

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Automatic Refills

We manage your refills and get in touch with your doctors for prescription renewals so that you always have the medication you need.

References

All material © 1996-2021 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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