Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 23, 2021.
- This medicine is a benzodiazepine. The use of a benzodiazepine drug along with opioid drugs has led to very bad side effects. Side effects that have happened include slowed or trouble breathing and death. Opioid drugs include drugs like codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. Opioid drugs are used to treat pain and some are used to treat cough. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are taking Ativan (lorazepam tablets) with an opioid drug, get medical help right away if you feel very sleepy or dizzy; if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing; or if you pass out. Caregivers or others need to get medical help right away if the patient does not respond, does not answer or react like normal, or will not wake up.
Uses of Ativan:
- It is used to treat anxiety.
- It is used to treat seizures.
- It is used to ease anxiety before surgery.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ativan?
- If you are allergic to Ativan (lorazepam tablets); any part of Ativan (lorazepam tablets); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have any of these health problems: Glaucoma, low mood (depression), or certain mental problems.
- If you have sleep apnea.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Ativan (lorazepam tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Ativan (lorazepam tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Ativan?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Ativan (lorazepam tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Ativan (lorazepam tablets) affects you.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Ativan (lorazepam tablets).
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on Ativan (lorazepam tablets) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- Do not take Ativan (lorazepam tablets) for longer than you were told by your doctor.
- If you have been taking Ativan (lorazepam tablets) on a regular basis and you stop it all of a sudden, you may have signs of withdrawal. Do not stop taking Ativan (lorazepam tablets) all of a sudden without calling your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects.
- If you are 65 or older, use Ativan (lorazepam tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Ativan (lorazepam tablets), call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. This medicine passes into breast milk and may harm your baby.
How is this medicine (Ativan) best taken?
Use Ativan (lorazepam tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take Ativan (lorazepam tablets) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Many times Ativan (lorazepam tablets) is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- New or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of suicide.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Change in balance.
- Feeling confused.
- Memory problems or loss.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Change in eyesight.
- Muscle weakness.
- Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
- This medicine may cause very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems. Call your doctor right away if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing.
What are some other side effects of Ativan?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired, or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Ativan?
- Store at room temperature protected from light. Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Ativan (lorazepam tablets) is refilled. If you have any questions about Ativan (lorazepam tablets), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
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