Lorazepam is an anxiolytic of the class of benzodiazepines, indicated for the treatment of anxiety disorders and used as medication before the performance of a major surgical procedure, as it acts by increasing the activity of neurotransmitter substances in the brain, such as GABA , causing a tranquilizing effect.
This medication can be found in pharmacies in the form of 1 mg or 2 mg tablets of lorazepam, under the commercial name Ativan and Lozam, or under the generic name, “lorazepam”. Lorazepam must always be used under the medical indication and is sold under medical prescription.
This medication must not be administered to children under 12 years of age, during pregnancy or lactation, in addition it must be avoided in people with hypersensitivity to any of the components of the formula which may be allergic to any benzodiazepine medication.
what is it for
El lorazepam is indicated for:
- Control of anxiety disorders short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms;
- Complementary treatment of anxiety disorders related to other conditions, such as intense depression or psychotic states;
- preoperative medicationbefore the surgical procedure.
Lorazepam acts by increasing the action of GABA in the brain, producing a calming effect, reducing anxiety. Find out more about treatment for anxiety.
dose of lorazepam
Lorazepam must be taken orally with a pot of water, before taking it after a meal.
The normally recommended doses of lorazepam for adults or children under 12 years old are:
- Anxiety treatment: The normally recommended dose is 2 to 3 mg of lorazepam per day, given in divided doses. However, the doctor may recommend a dose between 1 to 10 mg per day, which varies according to the symptoms presented;
- Treatment of insomnia caused by anxiety: The normally recommended dose is 1 to 2 mg of lorazepam in a single daily dose, taken at night before sleeping. In older adults or debilitated people, an initial dose of 1 or 2 mg in divided doses is recommended, which should be adjusted according to the person’s needs and tolerance;
- preoperative medication: the dose that is usually recommended is a dose of 2 to 4 mg the night before the surgery and/or one 1 to 2 hours before the procedure.
The duration of treatment with lorazepam varies from agreement to medical evaluation, and is generally recommended for the shortest possible treatment time, which varies from 2 to 4 weeks. It is important not to suspend treatment for own account and without medical advice, as this medication can cause dependence.
To stop the treatment, the dose of lorazepam should be slowly reduced according to the doctor’s advice so as not to cause withdrawal symptoms such as temblores, increased sweating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, agitation, insomnia, extreme anxiety, tiredness, pain muscle, mental confusion, irritability, heart palpitations, and even convulsions, for example.
Possible side effects
The most common secondary effects that may appear during treatment with lorazepam are feelings of tiredness, somnolence, changes in gait and coordination, confusion, depression or muscle weakness.
In addition, it is necessary to inform the doctor in the event that the person has changes in mood or behavior, excessive sleepiness, mental confusion, difficulty sleeping, dark urine, yellow eyes, impulsiveness, aggression, restlessness, irritation, agitation or suicidal thoughts.
Lorazepam can cause severe allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention. Why you should interrupt the treatment and go to the nearest emergency service in case you have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, pain in the pecho, feeling of a closed throat, inflammation in the mouth, tongue or face; the hives. See how to recognize the symptoms of severe allergic reaction.
You should also go to the emergency department immediately in case that lorazepam is ingested in larger doses than those recommended and that symptoms of overdose appear, such as mental confusion, difficulty in speaking or communicating, in addition to difficulty in coordinating movements, barking weak heart, weak breathing or coma.
Lorazepam should not be used by children under 12 years of age, pregnant women who are lactating, people with narrow-angle glaucoma, severe respiratory failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, swine apnea, serious illnesses in the liver or kidneys, what leads to dependence on drugs of abuse or alcohol.
Furthermore, this medication should not be used by people who are allergic to lorazepam or to any other benzodiazepine, such as diazepam, alprazolam or clonazepam, for example.
The lorazepam tablet should not be ingested by people who are allergic to acetylsalicylic acid or to the coloring amarillo tartrazine.
During the treatment with lorazepam, care must be taken, avoiding activities such as driving, handling heavy machinery or carrying out dangerous activities, due to the secondary effects of drowsiness on the sea. In addition, alcohol intake can increase these side effects if you consume it at the same time you are being treated with lorazepam, which is why it is important to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
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