Ativan (Lorazepam) Side Effects, Important Information, Before Taking & How to Use

Ativan (Lorazepam) is used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. They act on the central nervous system and produce a soothing effect. The effects of GABA are enhanced by the use of Ativan. Ativan has a calming action on the central nervous system and has absolutely no effect on the respiratory system or the cardiovascular system. Lorazepam binds with plasma proteins. It is a central nervous system suppressant.

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Side Effects

If you are using Ativan with consultation from your doctor, then you should keep the fact in mind that he has weighed the pros and cons of the medicine before prescribing them to you.

Minor Side Effects

There are a few side effects of using Ativan. Depending on their severity, they may not even need medical attention. Since it is new for the body, it will take some time to adjust to Ativan, and these side effects will go after some time naturally. Side effects you are likely to experience include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • A headache
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Nocturnal enuresis
  • Change in sexual interest
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Change in appetite

If any of these side effects worsen, tell your healthcare provider immediately.

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Serious Side effects

Inform your doctor if any of these serious side effects occur:

  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Slurred speech
  • Changes in vision
  • Unusual weakness
  • Memory issues

It is rare to develop an allergic reaction to Ativan. It is very rare to get a severe allergic reaction such as difficulty in breathing or swelling of the tongue, throat or face due to this drug. However, if such is the case, call for medical assistance.

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How to use

If you have any specific queries about Ativan, ask your physician or the pharmacist when you go to buy the medication.

Ativan is taken orally, once a day or as prescribed by your healthcare provider. This medicine can be taken on an empty stomach or with food as well. The dosage and the duration of the treatment depend on:

  • Your medical condition
  • Your age
  • Your response to the treatment

Use this medication regularly, as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you take it at the same time, each day. If used for a longer period of time or if you have a history of personality disorder etc., it may be the cause of withdrawal symptoms.

To prevent these, your dose needs to be reduced in a gradual manner. Contact your healthcare provider if your condition worsens, or if you want more details.

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Precautions

If you are allergic to any other benzodiazepines such as alprazolam etc., or if you have any other kind of allergies, it is better to inform your healthcare provider before taking Ativan. There can be some inactive ingredients in Ativan which may also cause allergic reactions. To know more details, you should talk to your doctor.

Having knowledge about your prior medical illnesses is very important. If you have suffered from the following in the past or are under treatment for the following, your doctor should know beforehand:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Lung problems
  • Mental disorders
  • Family history or a personal past of substance use disorder

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If you are undergoing surgery, make sure your healthcare provider knows all the medications you are taking.

In people of older age, the side effects of Ativan such as loss of coordination, drowsiness and sleeping issues may be more enhanced due to their increased sensitivity.