Home Drugs Ativan – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions

Ativan – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions

Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, insomnia and status epilepticus. It contains an active ingredient, lorazepam which belongs to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines.

Ativan has a boxed warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it has the potential to cause serious sedation, decreased breathing, coma, and death when used with opioids. It can also result in physical dependence, withdrawal, misuse and addiction. This increases the risk of overdose and death in patients.

Ativan should be taken as prescribed and directed by your doctor.

Generic name: lorazepam
Brand name: Ativan

Ativan

Uses of Ativan

It is an sedative-hypnotic or anxiolytic medication used for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and status epilepticus.

How To Take Ativan

Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Ativan. Read all drug guidelines or instruction sheets and follow the advice on your prescription label. Never use more Ativan than prescribed or for longer than recommended. If you have an increased desire to use more of this medicine, tell your doctor.

Never give this medication to someone else, especially if they have a history of drug abuse or addiction. Place the medication in a secure location where others will not be able to access it. It is illegal to sell or give away this drug.

Do not discontinue taking Ativan without first consulting your physician. If you suddenly stop taking the medicine after a long period of use, you may experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Keep at room temperature, free from moisture and heat, in a firmly covered container.

Side Effects

The following side effects can be associated with taking Ativan. They include mild and severe side effects.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on any potential adverse effects. They can provide you with advice on how to deal with any unpleasant side effects.

Mild side effects include:

  • confusion
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • restlessness
  • drowsiness
  • depression
  • weakness
  • reduced sex drive
  • memory problems
  • lack of coordination

Severe side effects include:

  • paradoxical reactions such as aggression, hostility, agitation, or rage.
  • slowed breathing
  • convulsions
  • dependence, misuse, and addiction,
  • hypotension
  • serious allergic reactions
  • paradoxical reactions such as aggression, hostility, agitation, or rage.
  • respiratory failure
  • life threatening side effects if taken with opioid medications
  • suicidal thoughts

Severe side effects are uncommon, but they can happen. If you experience any major side effects, contact your doctor at once. If your symptoms are life-threatening or you believe you’re having a medical emergency, dial 911 or your local emergency number.

Precautions

The use of Ativan with alcohol or an opioid can result in severe side effects like slow breathing and apnea.

Ativan misuse can result in addiction, overdose and death. Place the medication in a secure location where others will not be able to access it.

If you have narrow-angle glaucoma, severe respiratory insufficiency, myasthenia gravis, or are allergic to Valium or a comparable medicine, you should not take Ativan.

If you are pregnant, avoid using Ativan. In a newborn, lorazepam can cause birth abnormalities or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Lorazepam has the potential to become addictive, so it should only be used by the individual for whom it was prescribed. Addiction, overdose, and death can result from the misuse of habit-forming medications. It should never be given to someone else, especially if they have a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a safe area where no one else can access it.

Do not discontinue taking your medication without first consulting your physician. If you suddenly stop taking the medicine after a long period of use, you may experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Some withdrawal symptoms can linger for a year or more.

If you stop taking Ativan and have symptoms like strange muscular movements, becoming more energetic or talkative, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, or suicidal thoughts, seek medical care right away.

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