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.
How to use Ativan Vial
See also Warning section.
This medication is given by injection into a vein or muscle as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Do not suddenly stop using this drug without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
See also Warning section.
Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, pain/burning/swelling/redness at the injection site, or unsteadiness may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: loss of consciousness, shortness of breath, slow/shallow breathing, seizures.
This medication can rarely have the opposite of its usual calming effect. Symptoms of this opposite effect may include agitation, irritability, violent behavior, confusion, restlessness, excitement, and talking more than normal. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of these effects.
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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Lorazepam has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Using this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems (especially opioid medications such as codeine, hydrocodone) may cause very serious side effects, including death. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you use the smallest dose of lorazepam that works, and use it for the shortest possible time. Be sure you know how to use lorazepam and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.
Suddenly stopping this medication may cause serious (possibly fatal) withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, trouble sleeping, restlessness, hallucinations/confusion, depression, nausea, or seizures. Withdrawal symptoms may sometimes last weeks to months.
Before using lorazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: glaucoma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), mental/mood disorders (such as depression, psychosis), breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, sleep apnea).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more 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 anything that needs alertness or clear vision until the effects of the medication wear off (at least 24 hours). Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness. Loss of coordination and drowsiness may increase the risk of falling. Also, lorazepam may have the opposite of its usual calming effect in older adults (see also Side Effects section).
This drug may have the opposite of its usual calming effect in children, causing restlessness, shaking, or mental/mood changes (such as agitation, hallucinations).
Infants and children younger than 3 years using anesthesia or drugs for sedation (including lorazepam) for procedures/surgeries may be at risk for slower brain growth. Talk to the doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using lorazepam. Lorazepam may harm an unborn baby. Newborn babies of mothers who receive this medication late in pregnancy may have symptoms such as slow/shallow breathing, nonstop crying, shaking, or trouble feeding. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also Warning section.
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.
The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is used with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), other drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center 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.
Do not share this medication with others. Sharing it is against the law.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.