This medication is used to treat anxiety. Lorazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. This drug works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).
Taking 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 take the smallest dose of lorazepam that works, and take 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 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.
If directed by your doctor, this drug may also be used for sleeping trouble (insomnia) or to reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It may also be used to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lorazepam and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment.
If directed by your doctor, use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures, trouble sleeping, mental/mood changes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, hallucinations, numbness/tingling of arms and legs, muscle pain, fast heartbeat, short-term memory loss, very high fever, and increased reactions to noise/touch/light). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used lorazepam regularly for a long time (more than 1-4 weeks) or in high doses or if you have a history of alcoholism, drug abuse, or personality disorder. 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.