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Ativan FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about Ativan or relate to a group or class of drugs which include Ativan (lorazepam).

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for lorazepam

Lorazepam Oral Concentrate, USP 2mg/mL by Amneal Pharmaceuticals: Recall - Misprinted Dosing Droppers

Aug 16, 2017

Audience: Pharmacy, Psychiatry, Patient

ISSUE: Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC is voluntarily recalling 13 lots of Lorazepam Oral Concentrate, USP 2mg/mL, to the Consumer level due to a defect in the dropper markings. The Lorazepam Oral Concentrate, USP 2mg/mL, product is packaged with a dosing dropper, supplied to Amneal by a third party. In a few instances, the dropper is printed with the dose markings in reverse number order, has no dose markings or has dose markings that are shifted. Amneal learned about the issue from a Consumer's report. To date no adverse events related to these dropper defects have been reported to Amneal. See the press release for product photos and a listing of affected lot numbers.

There is a significant likelihood that the dropper marking errors will result in dispensing either less than, or more than, the prescribed dose. There is a significant probability of a serious health consequence if more than the prescribed dose is dispensed and potential serious adverse events include: drowsiness causing trauma; increased anxiety; increased accidental injury to self or others (e.g., hip fracture, motor vehicle accident); which in the most serious circumstances could result in permanent decreased function or death.

BACKGROUND: The product is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms. It is packaged in an individual carton, identified with the code: NDC 65162-687-84, which contains a 30mL amber glass bottle of liquid produced by Amneal, a package insert with patient information, and a plastic dropper sealed in a clear plastic bag.

The product can be identified by the lot number printed on the bottom-right side of the blue and white label, with the Amneal logo, on the amber bottle supplied with the dropper, in a blue and white carton, with the Amneal logo. The Lorazepam Oral Concentrate, USP 2mg/mL was distributed nationwide to wholesalers.

RECOMMENDATION: Amneal Pharmaceuticals has notified its wholesale customers by a Recall Letter to return all recalled lots. Amneal is notifying pharmacies by providing a Recall Letter and a supply of replacement droppers to all pharmacies that may have received any of the recalled lots. There is no safety issue with the bottled product itself. To avoid any interruption in supply or access to the medication by the patient, pharmacies are instructed to immediately discard the dropper included with the recalled lots and replace it with the dropper included with the Recall Letter. Amneal also is providing the pharmacist with a sticker which the pharmacist is required to place on the box to alert the patient and other pharmacists that the dropper has been replaced. Pharmacists are instructed to notify all Consumers impacted by the recall of the potential defect and the need to exchange a defective dropper. Consumers are instructed to discontinue use of any defective dropper and return it to the place of purchase for a replacement. If Consumers are unsure whether their droppers are defective they are encouraged to confirm with their dispensing pharmacy.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Amneal Pharmaceuticals at 631.952.0214 x338 or amnealreg@amneal.com on Monday through Friday from 9AM through 5PM Eastern Time. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking or using this drug product.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

[08/14/2017 - Press Release - Amneal Pharmaceuticals]

General Anesthetic and Sedation Drugs: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Approves Label Changes for Use in Young Children

Apr 27, 2017

Audience: Consumer, Surgery, Anesthesiology

ISSUE: FDA has approved previously announced label changes regarding the use of general anesthetic and sedation medicines in children younger than 3 years. These changes include:

  • A new Warning stating that exposure to these medicines for lengthy periods of time or over multiple surgeries or procedures may negatively affect brain development in children younger than 3 years.
  • Addition of information to the sections of the labels about pregnancy and pediatric use to describe studies in young animals and pregnant animals that showed exposure to general anesthetic and sedation drugs for more than 3 hours can cause widespread loss of nerve cells in the developing brain; and studies in young animals suggested these changes resulted in long-term negative effects on the animals’ behavior or learning.

General anesthetic and sedation drugs are necessary for patients, including young children and pregnant women, who require surgery or other painful and stressful procedures. In the U.S., surgeries during the third trimester of pregnancy requiring general anesthesia are performed only when medically necessary and rarely last longer than 3 hours. FDA is advising that in these situations, pregnant women should not delay or avoid surgeries or procedures during pregnancy, as doing so can negatively affect themselves and their infants.

Similarly, surgeries or procedures in children younger than 3 years should not be delayed or avoided when medically necessary. Consideration should be given to delaying potentially elective surgery in young children where medically appropriate.

BACKGROUND: This is an update to the MedWatch alert "General Anesthetic and Sedation Drugs: Drug Safety Communication - New Warnings for Young Children and Pregnant Women" issued on December 14, 2016. 

RECOMMENDATION: Health care professionals should continue to follow their usual practices of patient counseling including discussing the benefits and risks of surgeries or procedures that require general anesthesia and sedation drugs. FDA will continue to monitor the use of these drugs in children and will update the public if additional information becomes available.

Parents, caregivers, and pregnant women should talk to their health care professionals if they have any questions or concerns about general anesthesia and sedation drugs.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

[04/27/2017 - Drug Safety Communication (Update) - FDA]
[12/14/2016 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

General Anesthetic and Sedation Drugs: Drug Safety Communication - New Warnings for Young Children and Pregnant Women

Dec 14, 2016

Audience: Consumer, Surgery, Anesthesiology

ISSUE: FDA is warning that repeated or lengthy use of general anesthetic and sedation drugs during surgeries or procedures in children younger than 3 years or in pregnant women during their third trimester may affect the development of children’s brains.

Consistent with animal studies, recent human studies suggest that a single, relatively short exposure to general anesthetic and sedation drugs in infants or toddlers is unlikely to have negative effects on behavior or learning. However, further research is needed to fully characterize how early life anesthetic exposure affects children’s brain development.

To better inform the public about this potential risk, FDA is requiring warnings to be added to the labels of general anesthetic and sedation drugs (see List of General Anesthetic and Sedation Drugs Affected by this Label Change). FDA will continue to monitor the use of these drugs in children and pregnant women and will update the public if additional information becomes available.

See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for a data summary and listing of general anesthetic and sedation drugs affected by this label change.

BACKGROUND: Anesthetic and sedation drugs are necessary for infants, children, and pregnant women who require surgery or other painful and stressful procedures, especially when they face life-threatening conditions requiring surgery that should not be delayed. In addition, untreated pain can be harmful to children and their developing nervous systems.

FDA has been investigating the potential adverse effects of general anesthetic and sedation drugs on children’s brain development since the first animal study on this topic was published in 1999. FDA held advisory committee meetings in 2007, 2011, and 2014. To coordinate and fund research in this area, FDA also formed a partnership with the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) called SmartTots (Strategies for Mitigating Anesthesia-Related neuroToxicity in Tots). More research is still needed to provide additional information about the safe use of these drugs in young children and pregnant women.

RECOMMENDATION: Health care professionals should balance the benefits of appropriate anesthesia in young children and pregnant women against the potential risks, especially for procedures that may last longer than 3 hours or if multiple procedures are required in children under 3 years. Discuss with parents, caregivers, and pregnant women the benefits, risks, and appropriate timing of surgery or procedures requiring anesthetic and sedation drugs.

Parents and caregivers should discuss with their child’s health care professional the potential adverse effects of anesthesia on brain development, as well as the appropriate timing of procedures that can be delayed without jeopardizing their child’s health. Pregnant women should have similar conversations with their health care professionals. Also talk with them about any questions or concerns.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

[12/14/2016 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

Ativan (lorazepam)

Feb 16, 2007

Audience: Consumers, healthcare professionals

[Posted 02/16/2007] FDA informed consumers and healthcare professionals regarding the possible dangers of buying prescription medications online. Individuals who ordered Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro, and Ativan over the internet received a product that contained haloperidol, a powerful anti-psychotic drug. Several consumers experienced difficulty in breathing, muscle spasms and muscle stiffness after ingesting the suspect product and had to seek emergency medical treatment. Haloperiodol can cause muscle stiffness, spasms, agitation and sedation. Taking medication that contains an active ingredient other than what is prescribed by qualified healthcare professionals is generally unsafe. FDA urges consumers to review the FDA website for additional information prior to making purchases of medications over the internet (http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ProtectYourself/default.htm).

[February 16, 2007 - News Release - FDA]

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