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Indications:

Lorazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. This results in a reduction in nervous tension. Lorazepam is used to treat anxiety or anxiety associated with symptoms of depression.

Contraindications:

Do not use lorazepam if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, or if you are allergic to lorazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax). Before taking lorazepam, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have: glaucoma; asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems; kidney or liver disease; a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or a history of drug or alcohol addiction. If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

Adverse reactions:

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to lorazepam: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself; hyperactivity, agitation, hostility; hallucinations; or feeling light-headed, fainting. Less serious lorazepam side effects may include: drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness; blurred vision; sleep problems (insomnia); muscle weakness, lack of balance or coordination; amnesia or forgetfulness, trouble concentrating; nausea, vomiting, constipation; appetite changes; or skin rash.

Interactions:

The benzodiazepines, including Ativan (lorazepam), produce increased CNS-depressant effects when administered with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, antipsychotics, sedative/hypnotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, narcotic analgesics, sedative antihistamines, anticonvulsants, and anesthetics. Concomitant use of clozapine and lorazepam may produce marked sedation, excessive salivation, hypotension, ataxia, delirium, and respiratory arrest. Concurrent administration of lorazepam with valproate results in increased plasma concentrations and reduced clearance of lorazepam. Lorazepam dosage should be reduced to approximately 50% when coadministered with valproate. Concurrent administration of lorazepam with probenecid may result in a more rapid onset or prolonged effect of lorazepam due to increased half-life and decreased total clearance. Lorazepam dosage needs to be reduced by approximately 50% when coadministered with probenecid. The effects of probenecid and valproate on lorazepam may be due to inhibition of glucuronidation. Administration of theophylline or aminophylline may reduce the sedative effects of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam.

Warnings:

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to lorazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax). This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use lorazepam if you are pregnant. Before taking lorazepam, tell your doctor if you have any breathing problems, glaucoma, kidney or liver disease, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking lorazepam. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy. They can add to sleepiness caused by lorazepam. Lorazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Lorazepam should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. It is dangerous to try and purchase this medicine on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Medications distributed from Internet sales may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy. Samples of lorazepam purchased on the Internet have been found to contain haloperidol (Haldol), a potent antipsychotic drug with dangerous side effects. FDA pregnancy category D. Lorazepam can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use lorazepam without your doctor’s consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. It is not known whether lorazepam passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not drink alcohol while taking lorazepam. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Lorazepam can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by lorazepam. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these other medicines.

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