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Ativan (Lorazepam)

Ativan is part of a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines that affect the chemical balance within the brain, which may be altered due to anxiety. Ativan, also referred to as Lorazepam in its generic form, is often used as a treatment for people suffering from anxiety disorders. There are other uses for Ativan that are not included within the medical guide.

Vital Details of Ativan

If an individual is allergic to Ativan and other kinds of benzodiazepines such as Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Serax (oxazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), or Tranxene (clorazepate). Ativan may result in some types of birth defects in an unborn child and must not be used by expectant mothers. If you suffer from any of the following disorders, it is crucial you provide this information to your physician, before commencing the use of Ativan.

Depression history
Drug or alcohol addiction
Liver or kidney disorders
Breathing troubles
Suicidal tendencies or thoughts
Glaucoma

Additional cautions that need to be followed while using Ativan to treat anxiety disorders include:

Avoiding the consumption of alcoholic drinks as the effects of alcohol can be significantly more.

Users should also not use sleeping pills because Ativan can increase drowsiness.

As Ativan can become habitual, only people who are provided with prescriptions must use it. Ativan is not to be shared with any other individual, especially those who are known to have a history of substance abuse and addiction. Users are advised to store this medication in a place that cannot be accessed by other people.

Prior to Using Ativan

If you suffer from narrow-angle glaucoma or are allergic to Ativan and other kinds of benzodiazepines like Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Serax (oxazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), or Tranxene (clorazepate), you must not use Ativan. Providing this information to your doctor before commencing its use is crucial.

People having one or more of the following symptoms should also avoid consumption of Ativan and inform their doctors. The physician may need to make certain adjustments to the dosage or undertake specialized tests prior to prescribing the medicine.

Kidney or liver trouble
Alcohol or drug addiction
Glaucoma
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, or other breathing troubles
Depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior

Ativan is a Category D FDA approved pregnancy drug, which can result in certain disorders in an unborn child. This is why pregnant women are advised to avoid its use without medical guidance. Women using Ativan are recommended to use effective birth control methods to avoid pregnancies and if they conceive while using Ativan, they must immediately inform the doctor. The effects of Ativan on breast milk are unknown and may cause negative side effects to babies, which is why nursing mothers are advised avoiding the use of Ativan.

Children below the age of twelve years should never use Ativan. The sedative results of this drug often are longer lasting in adults. It is common for senior users to have accidental falls while using benzodiazepines and hence they are advised to be extra cautious to avoid major or minor injuries taking place due to such falls.

Dosage Information on Ativan

Sometimes you may forget your dosage and in such instances it is recommended to take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, you can skip the missed one and continue as prescribed. It is important that you do not take any extra medicine in order to make up for a missed dose.

Since overdose of Ativan can have disastrous outcomes, it is crucial to seek emergency medical assistance if you feel you may have overused Ativan. Some signs that show overdose include coma, extreme sleepiness, fainting, muscle weakness, and confusion.

Avoiding alcohol while using Ativan is crucial as the combination can have dangerous side effects. Some people may suffer from impaired reactions or thinking while using Ativan. Therefore, it is recommended for them to be cautious if they have to drive or undertake other activities that need alertness. Certain medicines like allergy and cold pills, seizure medications, narcotic pain killers, depression or anxiety medicines, muscle relaxers, and sleeping tablets can increase drowsiness resulting from Ativan and hence seeking medical advice if you use any of these is vital.

Right Way of Using Ativan

Users must always ingest only the prescribed dosage without adjusting it. Moreover, they must continue its use only for the recommended duration. Adhering to all the directions provided on the prescription label is mandatory.

Sometimes, the physician may modify the dosage in order to improve the effectiveness of Ativan based on patients’ conditions. If you are using Ativan in a liquid form, using specialized measuring cup is vital and you should never use a regular teaspoon for this purpose. If you do not have this cup, it is advisable to buy one from a pharmacy.

Ativan is best only for short-term use, without exceeding a period of over four months.
Since it can be addictive, only those individuals who have been recommended its use should ingest Ativan.

Never share Ativan with any other person, especially if he or she is known to have substance addiction history

Keep the medicine away from the reach of other people.

Store Ativan at room temperature away from light, moisture, and heat.

Liquid form of this medicine should be stored in the refrigerator.

If Ativan is not effective in treating your symptoms, you must contact your doctor immediately.

Do not abruptly discontinue using Ativan; most people need to lower the dosage periodically before stopping its usage completely.

To ensure the Ativan is working in an effective manner, the physician may need to track your progress periodically and it is important that you never miss a scheduled appointment. Users should also keep an accurate track of the usage from every new bottle. It is commonly known that benzodiazepines are addictive and they need to know if someone else is using Ativan without medical advice.

Some people may feel withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing the use of Ativan, especially if you have used it for a longer period of time. They may suffer from seizures or other signs such as tremors, unusual behavior or thoughts, muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, stomach-ache, and convulsions.

Side effects of Ativan

Seeking emergency help and medical advice for any of the following symptoms is very important:

hallucinations
confusion, depression, suicidal thoughts
agitation, hyperactivity, hostility
faintness, light headedness
swelling in the tongue, on the face, throat, or lips
breathing trouble
hives
Some minor effects of Ativan include:
skin rashes
fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness
appetite changes
blurred vision
vomiting, nausea, constipation
sleeping disorders
concentration trouble, amnesia
lack of coordination or balance, muscle weakness

The above is not a complete list of possible side effects with Ativan. To report other effects, you can always call on 1-800-FDA-1088. Alternatively, you can contact your physician to seek medical advice.

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