What is this medication for?
Lorazepam belongs to the class of medications called benzodiazepines. Lorazepam is used for anxiety disorders, for short-term relief of anxiety-related symptoms, or for anxiety associated with depression. It works by slowing down the communication between the nerves in the brain (i.e., the central nervous system).
Some people experience some improvement in anxiety about one-half hour after taking lorazepam. Injectable lorazepam can be used as an initial treatment for the control of prolonged seizures (status epilepticus).
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Ativan® by Baxter Healthcare Corporation is available as:
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The usual recommended oral (taken by mouth) dose of lorazepam for adults is 2 mg to 6 mg per day in divided doses or at bedtime. The dose is individualized according to your specific needs and response to the medication. This dose can be increased by your doctor to a maximum of 10 mg per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Lorazepam may be taken with or without food.
The usual dose for lorazepam injections for anxiety in adults is based on weight, from 0.044 mg per kilogram of body weight up to a maximum dose of 2 mg.
Seizures (status epilepticus): The dose of injectable lorazepam for seizures in adults is 4 mg given slowly into the vein (preferred) or into the muscle. If seizures do not stop after 10 to 15 minutes, a second dose may be given. The injectable lorazepam is usually only given in a hospital setting.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you have been on this medication regularly, do not stop using the medication without speaking with your doctor. A gradual reduction in dose is recommended when stopping this medication to avoid withdrawal effects.
If you miss a dose, administer it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not administer a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store lorazepam tablets at room temperature, protect from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. The lorazepam injection is stored in the fridge.
This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under "What form(s) does this medication come in?"
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take lorazepam if you:
- are allergic to lorazepam, other benzodiazepines, or any of the ingredients of the medication
- have acute narrow-angle glaucoma