Alert

lorazepam (injection)

Pronunciation: lor A ze pam

Brand: Ativan

What is the most important information I should know about lorazepam injection?

Lorazepam can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing.

Your caregivers will watch you for symptoms such as weak or shallow breathing.

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you received this medicine.

What is lorazepam injection?

Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen) that is used to treat a seizure emergency called status epilepticus. Lorazepam injection is also used as a sedative to help you relax before having surgery.

Lorazepam injection may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using lorazepam injection?

If possible before you receive lorazepam injection, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • narrow-angle glaucoma;
  • sleep apnea or severe breathing problem;
  • a known allergy to polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, or benzyl alcohol; or
  • a history of allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine (lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Valium, Versed, Xanax, and others).

If possible before you receive lorazepam, tell your caregivers if you have ever had:

  • seizures;
  • asthma or other breathing disorder;
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

Lorazepam may harm an unborn baby, and generally should not be used during pregnancy. However, status epilepticus is a life-threatening condition and the benefit of receiving lorazepam to treat it may outweigh any risk to the unborn baby.

Sedatives used during surgery may affect brain development in a child under 3, or an unborn baby whose mother receives this medicine during late pregnancy. These effects may be more likely when a sedative is used for 3 hours or longer, or used for repeated procedures. Effects on brain development could cause learning or behavior problems later in life.

Negative brain effects from sedatives have been seen in animal studies. However, studies in human children receiving single short uses of this medicine have not shown a likely effect on behavior or learning. More research is needed.

In some cases, your doctor may decide to postpone a surgery based on these risks. Treatment may not be delayed in the case of life-threatening conditions, medical emergencies, or surgery needed to correct certain birth defects.

Ask your doctor for information about all medicines that will be used during your surgery, and how long the surgery will last.

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you received this medicine.

How is lorazepam injection given?

Lorazepam is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

You may need to receive only one dose of lorazepam if your condition improves after the medicine is given.

After the injection, you will be watched to make sure the medicine is working and does not cause harmful side effects.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive lorazepam in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving lorazepam injection?

Avoid drinking alcohol within the first 1 or 2 days after you receive lorazepam injection. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Lorazepam can cause extreme drowsiness that may last for 24 to 48 hours after the injection. Older adults may feel sleepy for even longer.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until the effects of lorazepam have worn off completely. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

What are the possible side effects of lorazepam injection?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Lorazepam can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing. Your caregivers will watch you for symptoms such as weak or shallow breathing.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • severe drowsiness;
  • trouble breathing;
  • restlessness, feeling agitated or irritable;
  • unusual thoughts, hallucinations; or
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.

The sedative effects of lorazepam may last longer in older adults. You may need help getting out of bed for at least the first 8 hours. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • drowsiness, dizziness, confusion;
  • blurred vision; or
  • pain, redness, or burning where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect lorazepam injection?

Shortly after you are treated with this medicine, taking other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, prescription cough medicine, or medicine for depression or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • any other benzodiazepines (such as alprazolam, diazepam, Valium, Xanax, and others);
  • probenecid;
  • valproate or other seizure medication;
  • birth control pills; or
  • medicine to treat mental illness.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect lorazepam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about lorazepam injection.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2021 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision date: 12/30/2020.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.