Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Using lorazepam with opioid medications (such as codeine, hydrocodone) may increase your risk of very serious side effects, including death. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you use the smallest dose of lorazepam that works, and use it for the shortest possible time. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.
This medication is used to treat serious seizures that do not stop (status epilepticus). It is also used before surgeries or procedures to cause drowsiness, decrease anxiety, and cause forgetfulness about the procedure or surgery.
Lorazepam belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines, which produce a calming effect on the brain and nerves (central nervous system). It is thought to work by increasing the effect of a certain natural chemical (GABA) in the brain.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to cause drowsiness in people who need a tube and machine to help with breathing (intubated) or to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting in people on chemotherapy. It may also be used for a mental/mood disorder (delirium).
How To Use
This medication is given by injection into a vein or muscle as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, mental/mood changes such as anxiety/agitation). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used lorazepam for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Do not suddenly stop using this drug without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
See also Warning section.
Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, pain/burning/swelling/redness at the injection site, or unsteadiness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations, agitation, confusion)
- muscle weakness
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:
- loss of consciousness
- shortness of breath
- slow/shallow breathing
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using lorazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol)
- mental/mood disorders (such as depression, psychosis)
- breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, sleep apnea)
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. For at least 8 hours after receiving this drug, you should not get out of bed without help. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until the effects of the medication wear off (at least 24 hours). Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness. Also, the elderly may not experience relief of anxiety with lorazepam. It may have the opposite effect on the elderly, causing symptoms including mental/mood changes, sleeping problems, increase in sexual interest, or hallucinations. Loss of coordination, drowsiness, and sleeping problems can increase the risk of falling.
This drug may have an opposite effect on children, causing restlessness, shaking (tremors), or mental/mood changes (such as agitation, hallucinations).
Infants and children younger than 3 years using anesthesia or drugs for sedation (including lorazepam) for procedures/surgeries may be at risk for slower brain growth. Talk to the doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Tell the doctor right away if you notice symptoms in your newborn baby such as slowed breathing, feeding problems, or constant crying. Consult your doctor for more details
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also Warning section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
- sodium oxybate (also known as gamma hydroxybutyrate or GHB)
The risk of serious side effects (such as slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased if this medication is used with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), other drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: extreme drowsiness/dizziness, confusion, extreme tiredness, unsteadiness, loss of consciousness.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the refrigerator away from light or as directed by your pharmacist. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised May 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.