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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.

In Summary

Common side effects of Ativan include: sedated state. Other side effects include: dizziness. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to lorazepam: injection solution

Other dosage forms:


Injection route (Solution)

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Monitor patients for respiratory depression and sedation

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

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 or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking lorazepam:

More common

  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  • Decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • not breathing
  • severe sleepiness


  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • change in consciousness
  • convulsions
  • cough or hoarseness
  • deep or fast breathing with dizziness
  • delusions
  • dementia
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • extremely shallow or slow breathing
  • fever or chills
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • loss of consciousness
  • lower back or side pain
  • numbness of feet, hands and around mouth
  • painful or difficult urination
  • problems with movement, walking, or speech
  • vomiting

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

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:


  • Nausea

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to lorazepam: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution, oral concentrate, oral tablet


Oral: The most commonly reported side effects included sedation, dizziness, weakness, and unsteadiness.

Parenteral: The most commonly reported side effects included somnolence, respiratory failure, hypotension, and injection site reactions (pain and burning).[Ref]



Very common (10% or more): Burning (up to 17%), pain (up to 17%)

Common (1% to 10%): Painful response, redness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site reaction

Frequency not reported: Arteriospasm, gangrene, injection site tolerance[Ref]

Nervous system


Very common (10% or more): Sedation (up to 15.9%)

Common (1% to 10%): Anterograde amnesia, ataxia, daytime drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Dysarthria, headache, memory impairment, reduced alertness, slurred speech, transient anterograde amnesia

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Coma, extrapyramidal reactions, tremor

Frequency not reported: Amnesia, autonomic manifestations, convulsions/seizures, drowsiness, extremity numbness/tingling, hyperreflexia, hypersensitivity to light/noise/sound, involuntary movements, short-term memory loss, vertigo


Common (1% to 10%): Coma, excessive drowsiness/sleepiness, headache, sedation, somnolence, stupor

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Brain edema, convulsion, myoclonus, tremor

Frequency not reported: Dizziness

Postmarketing reports: Amnesia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, paralysis[Ref]



Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, fatigue, weakness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chills

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hypothermia

Frequency not reported: Hyperacusis, hyperthermia, paradoxical reactions, rebound phenomena


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, crying, fatigue, sobbing

Frequency not reported: Depressed hearing, falls, hypothermia, paradoxical reactions, tinnitus

Postmarketing reports: Fatalities[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Change in libido, confusion, decreased orgasm, depression, disinhibition, euphoria, numbed emotions, sleep disturbances, unmasking of depression

Frequency not reported: Aggression, aggressiveness, agitation, anxiety, catatonia, dependence, delirium, delusion, disorientation, drug withdrawal symptoms, excitation, hallucinations, hostility, impotence, inappropriate behavior, irritability, insomnia, nightmares, panic attacks, psychoses, rage, restlessness, sexual arousal, suicidal attempt/ideation, tension


Common (1% to 10%): Confusion, delirium, depression, restlessness, unmasking of depression, visual hallucinations

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal thinking, agitation, ataxia, change in libido, decreased orgasm, hallucinations

Frequency not reported: Aggression, agitation, anxiety, disinhibition, excitation, euphoria, hostility, inappropriate behavior, insomnia, irritability, mania, psychosis, rage, sexual arousal, sleep disturbances, stimulation, suicidal attempt/ideation

Postmarketing reports: Acute brain syndrome, nervousness[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Apnea, respiratory depression, worsening of obstructive pulmonary disease, worsening of sleep apnea


Common (1% to 10%): Apnea, hypoventilation, respiratory disorder, respiratory failure

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hyperventilation

Frequency not reported: Airway obstruction

Postmarketing reports: Lung edema, lung hemorrhage, pneumothorax, pulmonary hypertension, respiratory arrest[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Hypotension

Frequency not reported: Palpitations, small decreases in blood pressure


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension

Postmarketing reports: Arrhythmia, bradycardia, heart arrest/failure, heart block, pericardial effusion, tachycardia, ventricular arrhythmia[Ref]



Frequency not reported: Muscle pain


Common (1% to 10%): Muscle weakness[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Constipation, nausea, salivation changes

Frequency not reported: Abdominal cramps, dry mouth, gastrointestinal symptoms, hypersalivation, vomiting


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased salivation, nausea, vomiting

Frequency not reported: Constipation

Postmarketing reports: Gastrointestinal hemorrhage[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Change in appetite, increase in alkaline phosphatase

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hyponatremia

Frequency not reported: Loss of appetite


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Acidosis, increased alkaline phosphatase

Frequency not reported: Hyponatremia[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Allergic dermatitis, rash

Frequency not reported: Allergic skin reactions, alopecia, dermatological symptoms, sweating


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypertension, hypotension

Frequency not reported: Allergic skin reactions, alopecia, skin rash[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Abnormal liver function test values, increase in bilirubin, increase in liver transaminases, jaundice


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal liver function tests

Postmarketing reports: Liver damage[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Impotence


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Impotence

Postmarketing reports: Urinary incontinence[Ref]



Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): infection[Ref]



Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cystitis[Ref]



Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Blurred vision, diplopia, eye function/visual disturbance


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, diplopia[Ref]



Very rare (less than 0.01%): Agranulocytosis, leukopenia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia


Frequency not reported: Agranulocytosis, hypochromic anemia, leukocytosis, pancytopenia, thrombocythemia, thrombocytopenia

Postmarketing reports: Coagulation disorder[Ref]



Very rare (less than 0.01%): Anaphylactoid reactions, anaphylaxis, hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity reactions


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic reactions, anaphylactoid reactions, angioedema, hypersensitivity reactions[Ref]



Very rare (less than 0.01%): Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)


Frequency not reported: Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)

Postmarketing reports: Aggravation of pheochromocytoma[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Ativan (lorazepam)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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