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Lorazepam Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 13, 2023.

Applies to lorazepam: oral capsule extended release, oral solution, oral tablet. Other dosage forms:

Warning

Oral route (Capsule, Extended Release; Tablet)

Risks From Concomitant Use With Opioids; Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction; and Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions:Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.The use of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam, exposes users to risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction, which can lead to overdose or death. Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines commonly involve concomitant use of other medications, alcohol, and/or illicit substances, which is associated with an increased frequency of serious adverse outcomes. Before prescribing lorazepam and throughout treatment, assess each patient’s risk for abuse, misuse, and addiction.The continued use of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam may lead to clinically significant physical dependence. The risks of dependence and withdrawal increase with longer treatment duration and higher daily dose. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of lorazepam after continued use may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, which can be life-threatening. To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue lorazepam or reduce the dosage.

Serious side effects of Lorazepam

Along with its needed effects, lorazepam 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

Incidence not known

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking lorazepam:

Symptoms of overdose

Other side effects of Lorazepam

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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to lorazepam: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution, oral capsule extended release, oral concentrate, oral tablet.

General

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]

Local

Parenteral:

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

Oral:

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

Common (1% to 10%): Anterograde amnesia, ataxia, daytime drowsiness, dizziness, drowsiness, 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/extrapyramidal symptoms, tremor

Frequency not reported: Amnesia, autonomic manifestations, balance disorders, convulsions/seizures, extremity numbness/tingling, hyperreflexia, hypersensitivity to light/noise/sound, impaired perception, involuntary movements, prolonged response times, short-term memory loss, vertigo

Parenteral:

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

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

Frequency not reported: Amnesia, balance disorder, central nervous system effects, decreased ability to perform complex mental functions, dysarthria, extrapyramidal symptoms, memory impairment, seizures, slurred speech, transient anterograde amnesia, unsteady gait, vertigo

Postmarketing reports: Neuroleptic malignant syndrome, paralysis[Ref]

Dose-dependent central nervous system depression, increased sedation, and unsteadiness were associated with increased age.[Ref]

Psychiatric

Oral:

Common (1% to 10%): Confusion, depression, unmasking of depression

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Change in libido, impotence, less intense orgasm/decreased orgasm

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, aggressive behavior, aggressiveness, agitation/states of agitation, anxiety, behavioral disorder, catatonia, delirium, delusion, dependence, depersonalization, derealization, disorientation, drug withdrawal symptoms, dysphoria, excitement/excitation, hallucinations, hostility, impaired attention/concentration, impotence, inappropriate behavior, increased dreaming, inner restlessness, insomnia, irritability, loss of reality, nightmares, panic attacks, psychoses, rage, restlessness, sexual arousal, sleep disorders, stimulation, suicidal attempt/ideation, tension/states of tension,, withdrawal phenomena

Parenteral:

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, impaired attention/concentration, inappropriate behavior, insomnia, irritability, mania, psychosis, rage, sexual arousal, sleep disturbances, stimulation, suicidal attempt/ideation

Postmarketing reports: Acute brain syndrome, nervousness[Ref]

Other

Oral:

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

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chills

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hypothermia

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

Parenteral:

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

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Chills

Frequency not reported: Depressed hearing, enhanced sensitivity to alcoholic beverages, falls, hypothermia, paradoxical reactions, tinnitus

Postmarketing reports: Fatalities[Ref]

Respiratory

Oral:

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

Parenteral:

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

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hyperventilation

Frequency not reported: Airway obstruction, worsening of obstructive pulmonary disease, worsening of sleep apnea

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

Cardiovascular

Oral:

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Hypotension

Frequency not reported: Palpitations, small decreases in blood pressure, tachycardia

Parenteral:

Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension

Frequency not reported: Decreased blood pressure

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

Musculoskeletal

Oral:

Frequency not reported: Muscle pain, myalgia

Parenteral:

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

Gastrointestinal

Oral:

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nausea

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

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

Parenteral:

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

Frequency not reported: Constipation

Postmarketing reports: Gastrointestinal hemorrhage[Ref]

Metabolic

Oral:

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

Parenteral:

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

Frequency not reported: Hyponatremia[Ref]

Dermatologic

Oral:

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

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

Parenteral:

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

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

Hepatic

Oral:

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

Parenteral:

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

Frequency not reported: Increased bilirubin, increased liver transaminases, jaundice

Postmarketing reports: Liver damage[Ref]

Genitourinary

Oral:

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Impotence

Parenteral:

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Impotence

Postmarketing reports: Urinary incontinence[Ref]

Immunologic

Parenteral:

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

Renal

Parenteral:

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

Ocular

Oral:

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

Parenteral:

Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, diplopia, visual disturbances[Ref]

Hematologic

Oral:

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

Parenteral:

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

Postmarketing reports: Coagulation disorder[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Oral:

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

Frequency not reported: Angioedema, hypersensitivity reactions

Parenteral:

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

Endocrine

Oral:

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

Parenteral:

Frequency not reported: SIADH

Postmarketing reports: Aggravation of pheochromocytoma[Ref]

Frequently asked questions

References

1. Product Information. Ativan (lorazepam). Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. 2002.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. UK Summary of Product Characteristics.

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. Australian Product Information.

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.