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Terms Of Use

LORAZEPAM

Brand Name(s) : None
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

LORAZEPAM WARNINGS

Lorazepam should be used with caution in: the elderly, children, women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding, those who have liver or kidney problems, any sort of lung disorder, muscle weakness (including myasthenia gravis, a disease involving muscle weakness), porphyria (an inherited condition that causes skinblisters, stomachpain and brain or nervous system disorders), previous or current problems with alcoholism or drug abuse, and types of mental diseases called personality disorders.

It should not be used in: patients with severe breathing or chest problems, patients with unstable myasthenia gravis, sleep apnoea syndrome (pauses in breathing during sleep), acute pulmonary insufficiency (failure of the pulmonary valve in the heart, permitting blood to back-flow into the right ventricle), severe liver problems, long-term psychosis (typically, a mental disorder involving hallucinations and delusions), patients when given alone (as monotherapy) for the treatment of depression or depression with anxiety.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Ampoules should be kept refrigerated (2°C to 8°C).
Tablets should be stored in a cool, dry place.

LORAZEPAM USES

What is it used for?

  • Lorazepam is used to treat a number of problems.
  • It is a member of a class of drugs called benzodiazepine anxiolytics, and sometimes this class is known as 'minor tranquillisers'.
  • It is used to relieve anxiety, but also has sedative properties (it causes drowsiness) and is an hypnotic (it has sleep-inducing properties). It is also a muscle relaxant and can be used to prevent convulsions.
  • In general this drug is used for the short-term relief of severe anxiety or insomnia (difficulty sleeping), but is also used in epilepsy and to relax patients before surgery or other procedures.
  • Benefits of being on this drug are dependent on the use for which it is given, but in general it relaxes patients – mentally as well as physically – and prevents anxiety.

Listed below are the typical uses of lorazepam.

  • Short-term relief of anxiety or insomnia
  • Treatment of epilepsy (when given with other drugs)
  • To relax patients before minor operations or procedures, or before a general anaesthetic/surgical procedure.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list. Such conditions are listed below. Treatment of panic disorder that is resistant to treatment with an antidepressant, or for the control of panic attacks where alternative measures have failed.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, usually during the day as divided doses or once daily before bedtime. Tablets should be taken with a glass of water. It is also available as a liquid for intravenous or intramuscular injection.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it may make you very sleepy when given with lorazepam. Also avoid driving or operating machinery as lorazepam may make you feel sleepy or forgetful. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

LORAZEPAM SIDE EFFECTS

  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Light-headedness
  • Confusion and lack of co-ordination (particularly in the elderly)
  • Amnesia (forgetfulness)
  • Headache on waking
  • Spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) or high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Stomach upsets
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • Visual disturbances, including double vision (diplopia)
  • Slurred speech (dysarthria)
  • Tremor
  • Rash
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Difficulty in passing water (urine)
  • Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Blood disorders.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: paradoxical reactions (restlessness, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, delusion, rage, nightmares, hallucinations, psychoses [typically, a mental disorder involving hallucinations and delusions] and inappropriate behaviour), jaundice (yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes), or if you tend to bruise easily (indicating a possible blood disorder).

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.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), 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.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

LORAZEPAM PRECAUTIONS

Before taking lorazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe breathing or chest problems, unstable myasthenia gravis, sleep apnoea syndrome (pauses in breathing during sleep), acute pulmonary insufficiency (failure of the pulmonary valve in the heart, permitting blood to back-flow into the right ventricle), severe liver problems, long-term psychosis (typically, a mental disorder involving hallucinations and delusions), when given alone (as monotherapy) for the treatment of depression or depression with anxiety.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any breathing problems, mental disorders, liver or kidney problems, or alcohol or drug abuse.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it can cause severe drowsiness.

The elderly: lorazepam should be used with caution in the elderly as it is more likely to cause certain side-effects than in younger patients.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Lorazepam is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Lorazepam is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

LORAZEPAM INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • Alcohol
  • Other anxiolytics (sodium oxybate).

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting lorazepam.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • Antivirals (e.g. ritonavir)
  • Antidepressants (e.g. fluvoxamine, mirtazapine or tricyclics such as amitriptyline, imipramine or dosulepin)
  • Anti-psychotics (e.g. olanzapine)
  • Anti-epileptics (e.g. phenytoin or valproate)
  • Antibiotics (e.g. rifampicin)
  • Antihypertensives (e.g. angiotensin-II receptor antagonists, beta-blockers or calcium-channel blockers)
  • Stomach ulcer-healing drugs (e.g. cimetidine)
  • Other: strong pain-killers (e.g. methadone).

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using lorazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

LORAZEPAM OVERDOSE

An overdose of lorazepam may cause: drowsiness, mental confusion and lethargy. In serious cases, symptoms may include lack of co-ordination and balance (ataxia), decreased muscle tone or floppiness (hypotonia), low blood pressure (hypotension), breathing difficulties, coma and death.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of lorazepam or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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