The side effects of Lorazepam should be considered seriously, just as the side effects of any other medication before you accept their prescribed use. I was prescribed Lorazepam for a short period of time for anxiety and sleep issues, and for me, the benefits of Lorazepam far outweighed any side effects. But each person is an individual. Remember that just because it worked well for a friend or relative, does not mean you should “borrow a few” because you’ve had a tough week at work.
Lorazepam, also commonly known as Ativan, is considered to be a “mild” sedative or tranquilizer. Sedatives or tranquilizers became so popular in the 1970’s, and their prescription so rampant, that they were used for comic affect in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”.
Luckily, the over-prescription of such drugs receeded. However, due to a number of factors – our increasingly busy and hectic lives, worries about war, the cost of living, our horrible diets, and other pressures, the prescription and use of sedatives and tranquilizers, like Lorazepam, has once again risen. How do you decide if the side effects of Lorzepam, or any other benzodiazepine are worth the use?
Perhaps Yoga or group meditation class are better choices for you? What should you do? First start by consulting your doctor, not your friends.
The most commonly noted side effects of Lorazepam are drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, and loss of balance. That means you need to lie down and relax. Which is exactly what the medication is supposed to help you do. It is sometimes misnamed as a “coping” drug. It’s impossible to cope if you’re asleep with your face on your blotter at work.
But why is it doctors on television shows shout “Ativan STAT!” when a patient is seizing or out of control?
The situation depends on the doseage or strength of the medication. If you simply need to relax and ease your apprehension prior to surgery, you will receive a small dose. If you have lapsed into a psychotic fit smashing everything in sight, you will receive a much higher dose. Side effects of Lorazepam as well as any other drug will be increased with high dosages or prolonged use.
Each person’s body chemistry, overall health, other pre-existing conditions can contribute to individual reactions that may vary from the “normal” side effects listed. All benzodiazepines, like Lorazepam, have an affect on the Central Nervous System, which includes your brain function. As such, you should not plan to go out and run a marathon, or “operate heavy machinery” as advised when taking this class of drugs.
Be sure you discuss thoroughly with your doctor and your pharmacist your own history, reactions to other drugs, your daily habits and other drugs you already take, including baby aspirin. Lorazepam is often preferred over other drugs in its class because it has fewer interactions with other drugs and less chance of reaching toxic levels. This is because it is removed from the blood by the body’s normal functions more rapidly than others.
However, this does not mean that you cannot become addicted to it. Addiction to Lorazepam is not common. It is considered relatively “safe” and was approved by the FDA in March of 1999. The term “safe” is also relative, again, the best advice is to consult your doctor for your own possible individual reactions. But you should feel free to call your doctor’s office and report anything you consider unusual.
Lorazepam is normally used for the management of anxiety disorders and the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depression. It is also known to be effective for insomnia and panic attacks. It can also be used for treatment of alcohol withdrawal.
Other side effects can include depression, loss of orientation, headache and sleep disturbance. I did not experience any of those side effects. As with most other drugs that affect the Central Nervous System, it should not be stopped suddenly. Suddenly stopping may cause further depression, agitation and even an upset stomach. If lorazepam is taken continuously for longer than a few months, stopping suddenly may produce seizing, tremors, and vomiting.
The possible side effects of Lorezepam can be scary. Remember that for most people, some extra drowsiness or grogginess may occur. The common side effects are usually worth the use of the drug. For me, the few side effects of Lorazepam that I experienced were well worth the positve results it afforded me.