Ativan Side Effects
Generic Name: lorazepam
Note: This document contains side effect information about lorazepam. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Ativan.
Some side effects of Ativan may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to lorazepam: oral solution, oral tablet
Other dosage forms:
Along with its needed effects, lorazepam (the active ingredient contained in Ativan) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking lorazepam:More common
- relaxed and calm
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- aggressive, angry
- attack, assault, or force
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in urine or stools
- bluish lips or skin
- blurred vision
- change in consciousness
- confusion about identity, place, and time
- cough or hoarseness
- dark urine
- decreased urine output
- difficulty in breathing and/or swallowing
- difficulty in speaking
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- dry mouth
- false or unusual sense of well-being
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- fear or nervousness
- feeling sad or empty
- fever with or without chills
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- increased thirst
- irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
- loss of appetite
- loss of balance control
- loss of consciousness
- loss of interest or pleasure
- loss of memory
- lower back or side pain
- muscle pain or cramps
- muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
- nausea or vomiting
- not breathing
- painful or difficult urination
- pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- pinpoint red spots on skin
- problems with memory
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- reddening of the skin, especially around ears
- seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- shortness of breath
- shuffling walk
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
- stiffness of limbs
- swelling of eyes or inside of nose
- swelling of face, ankles, or hands
- swollen glands
- thoughts or attempts at killing oneself
- tightness in chest
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- twisting movements of body
- unable to sleep
- uncontrolled movements, especially of face, neck, and back
- unexplained bleeding or bruising
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking lorazepam:Symptoms of overdose
- Changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
- increased sweating
- loss of strength or energy
- low blood pressure
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- slurred speech
- trouble in speaking
- unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
- unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability
- unusual paleness unusual weak feeling
Some side effects of lorazepam may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Incidence not known
- Being forgetful
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- disturbed color perception
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- double vision
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- hair loss, thinning of hair
- halos around lights
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- increased interest in sexual intercourse
- lack or loss of self-control
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- low body temperature
- muscle aches
- muscle twitching
- muscle weakness
- night blindness
- overbright appearance of lights
- rapid weight gain
- sensation of spinning
- shakiness in legs, arms, hands, or feet
- trembling or shaking of hands or feet
- tunnel vision
- weak or feeble pulse
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to lorazepam: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution, oral concentrate, oral tablet
Nervous system side effects have been common and have included drowsiness, fatigue, confusion, impaired cognition, daytime anxiety, asthenia, amnesia, headache, dizziness, and ataxia. Orofacial dyskinesias have been observed rarely.
One study has suggested that the amnestic effects of lorazepam may be increased in patients who consume a large amount of ethanol.
The manufacturer has stated that elderly patients may be associated with a greater incidence of central nervous system depression.
Respiratory side effects including depression have been observed rarely with parenteral administration of lorazepam (the active ingredient contained in Ativan)
Equipment for resuscitation should be immediately available when parenteral lorazepam is used.
The manufacturer has stated that elderly patients may be associated with more respiratory depression.
Other side effects have included withdrawal symptoms after abrupt cessation of lorazepam (the active ingredient contained in Ativan) Withdrawal symptoms have included agitation, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, convulsions, tremor, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and sweating. Mania and delusional depression have also been observed rarely.
The vehicle for the injectable form of lorazepam (the active ingredient contained in Ativan) is propylene glycol, which can cause hyperlactatemia and elevated osmolar gaps. Propylene glycol may also interfere with renal tubular function and may blunt renal compensation for respiratory acidosis. While some guidelines seem to indicate that propylene glycol toxicity occurs at high dose (>18 mg/hr) lorazepam infusions, multiple instances of propylene glycol toxicity from far lower dose (4 to 6 mg/hr) lorazepam infusions have also been reported.
Local side effects at the site of intramuscular injection (pain, burning, local irritation and swelling) occur in about 8% of patients. Rarely, vascular impairment after inadvertent intra-arterial injection has occurred, sometimes with severe consequences.
Hematologic side effects including hemolytic anemia, pancytopenia, neutropenia, and aplastic anemia have been reported.
Endocrine side effects including the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of ADH have been reported rarely in association with lorazepam (the active ingredient contained in Ativan) use.
Musculoskeletal side effects including myopathy and one case of rhabdomyolysis have been reported.
Renal side effects have been reported including a case of hyperlactatemia, increased osmolar gap, and renal dysfunction during continuous lorazepam (the active ingredient contained in Ativan) infusion.
More about Ativan (lorazepam)
- Other brands: Lorazepam Intensol
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