Generic Name: lorazepam (oral) (lor A ze pam) Brand Names: Ativan
Ativan (lorazepam) is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Ativan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Ativan if you are allergic to lorazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax). This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant.
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Before taking Ativan, tell your doctor if you have any breathing problems, glaucoma, kidney or liver disease, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Ativan. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol.
Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy. They can add to sleepiness caused by lorazepam.
Ativan may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Ativan should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
It is dangerous to try and purchase Ativan on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Medications distributed from Internet sales may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy. Samples purchased on the Internet have been found to contain haloperidol (Haldol), a potent antipsychotic drug with dangerous side effects. For more information, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or visit www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide.
Do not use Ativan if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, or if you are allergic to lorazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax).
Before taking Ativan, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medicine.
FDA pregnancy category D. Ativan can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use Ativan without your doctors consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medicine. It is not known whether lorazepam passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The sedative effects of Ativan may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking Ativan. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 12 years old.
Take Ativan exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Measure the liquid form of Ativan with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Ativan should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 4 months without your doctors advice. Ativan may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Ativan should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Contact your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms. Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Your symptoms may return when you stop using Ativan after using it over a long period of time. You may also have seizures or withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medicine. Withdrawal symptoms may include tremor, sweating, muscle cramps, stomach pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and seizure (convulsions).
To be sure Ativan is not causing harmful effects, your doctor may need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Store the liquid form of this medicine in the refrigerator.
Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine.
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