This medication is used to treat serious seizures that do not stop (status epilepticus). It is also used before surgeries or procedures to cause drowsiness, decrease anxiety, and cause forgetfulness about the procedure or surgery. Lorazepam belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines, which produce a calming effect on the brain and nerves (central nervous system). It is thought to work by increasing the effect of a certain natural chemical (GABA) in the brain.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
How To Use
This medication is given by injection into a vein or muscle by a health care professional. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, mental/mood changes such as anxiety/agitation) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately. Though very unlikely, abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction) is possible with this medication. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed. When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: birth control pills, clozapine, haloperidol, kava, probenecid, scopolamine, sodium oxybate, valproic acid. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone, loxapine). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: extreme drowsiness/dizziness, confusion, extreme tiredness, unsteadiness, loss of consciousness.
Before using lorazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam), or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, benzyl alcohol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: glaucoma (narrow-angle), breathing trouble during sleep (sleep apnea), severe breathing problems (except in patients who are breathing with help from a machine). Before using this medication, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: glaucoma (open-angle), kidney disease, liver disease, personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, breathing problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. For at least 8 hours after receiving this drug, you should not get out of bed without help. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until the effects of the medication wear off (at least 24 hours). Avoid alcoholic beverages. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially drowsiness. This drug may have an opposite effect on children, causing restlessness, shaking (tremors), or mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations). This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital and will not be stored at home.
Drowsiness, dizziness, or unsteadiness may occur. If this medication is injected into a muscle, pain/burning/redness at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: slow/shallow breathing, loss of consciousness, pain/swelling at injection site (if this drug is injected into a vein), seizures, blurred vision, mental/mood changes (e.g., hallucinations, agitation, confusion), change in the amount of urine, shortness of breath, fast breathing, muscle weakness. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional. This drug may also be used to cause drowsiness in patients who need a tube and machine to help with breathing (intubated), to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients on chemotherapy, and to treat a mental/mood disorder (delirium).
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
The information contained in the First DataBank databases is intended to supplement the knowledge of physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals regarding drug therapy problems and patient counselling information. This information is advisory only and is not intended to replace sound clinical judgment in the delivery of healthcare services. First DataBank disclaims all warranties, whether expressed or implied, including any warranty as to the quality, accuracy, and suitability of this information for any purpose.
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