Lorazepam was introduced in 1977 with the principal use of treating anxiety in people. It has a high addictive potential as well as an abuse potential in terms of recreational purposes or a prolonged use against medical advice. Moreover, the sedative properties are used as the basis of criminal activities in certain circumstances.
Lorazepam is a kind of medication termed as Benzodiazepine. This group of medications affects the central nervous system in order to further improve the effects of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that produces a calming effect on nerves and muscles. Lorazepam is generally prescribed to patients in order to treat cases of both, acute and chronic anxiety, but according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this drug may result in psychological as well as physical dependence when used for long time periods.
Since Lorazepam is eliminated from the blood more quickly than other Benzodiazepines, there are lesser chances of the possibility that concentrations of Lorazepam in the blood will become high and therefore become toxic. Moreover, Lorazepam also interacts less with other medications in comparison to most of the other Benzodiazepines.
Lorazepam was approved by the FDA in March 1999.
Avoid using this medication if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Lorazepam dosage is tailored to meet the patient’s requirements.
What is Lorazepam used for?
Lorazepam is used for effectively treating panic attacks, anxiety related to depression, insomnia, acute seizures and sedation of aggressive patients in the short term. Due to its sedating effects, this medicine is at times prescribed to treat cases of temporary insomnia which arise due to situational stress. Injections of Lorazepam are effective in treating acute, severe seizures, known as status epilepticus.
Lorazepam is taken to treat anxiety disorders. Continuous nerve activities and other psychological orders cause anxiety. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter which decreases nerve activities in the brain. Lorazepam enhances the effects of GABA in the brain.
Lorazepam is used in combination with other medications to avoid the persistence of nausea and vomiting arising due to chemotherapy. Furthermore, Lorazepam is used before anesthesia to cause sedation before surgeries or medical procedures and is used for preventing and curing alcohol withdrawal effects on the brain.
However, the drug is not recommended for everyday anxiety and is recommended only to be used in the short-term.
What are the Common side effects of Lorazepam?
The most common side effects associated with Lorazepam include sedation, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, blurred or double vision, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, depression, skin rashes, weakness, and unsteadiness. Other common side effects include a feeling of depression, loss of orientation, hallucinations, blood disorders, hypotension (low blood pressure), headaches, muscle weakness and disturbances and discomfort during sleep.
You must call your doctor immediately if you experience fainting, sings of an allergic skin reaction or unexplained swelling, unsteadiness, hyperactivity, feelings of agitation or hostility and thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.
Some other possible side effects also include slurred speech, memory loss, fatigue, Vertigo (a spinning sensation), impotence, hair loss and orgasm problems.
Furthermore, people can develop physical dependence to this medicine. Also, if you use Lorazepam over longer periods of time than recommended, its intake should not be ceased abruptly since this could lead to muscle cramps, tremors, sweating and seizures.
What are the Side effects of Lorazepam on children?
Lorazepam should be used with caution when given to children. This medicine is not recommended for treating anxiety or sleeping problems in children under 12 years of age.
Children are more sensitive to the adverse effects of Lorazepam. Your child should not take Lorazepam if he or she has:
- an allergy to Lorazepam
- an allergy to benzodiazepine drugs like diazepam
- a muscle disease known as myasthenia gravis
- acute narrow angle glaucoma
Your child may have some of these side effects while he or she takes Lorazepam. These include:
- upset stomach
- difficulty having a bowel movement
- unsteadiness or clumsiness
- blurred vision
- trouble sleeping and restlessness
- dry mouth
- changes in behaviour
- trouble whilst urinating
- outbursts of anger
- yellow eyes or skin
- dark urine
What are the Side effects of Lorazepam on men?
This medication causes drowsiness which may continue the next day. Men might face difficulties concentrating whilst at work and are unable to properly drive or operate machinery.
What are the Side effects of Lorazepam on women?
Women may suffer from shaky movements and might experience unsteadiness while walking. Also, they might experience changes in their sex drives.
Also, disturbances in the gut, for instance, diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal pain may occur as a common side-effect in women.
Lorazepam may also make women experience feelings of dizziness, unsteadiness, and clumsiness, which makes it difficult for women to carry out their daily routine activities. Women may also frequently feel agitated, disoriented or depressed when using Lorazepam.
Moreover, women may also experience unexpected increases in aggression (paradoxical aggression).
What are the Side effects of Lorazepam on pregnant women?
Lorazepam has been associated with foetal damage, including congenital malformations, when taken by pregnant women during their first trimester. It is best if Lorazepam is avoided in the first trimester and probably throughout pregnancy.
Lorazepam may prove to be harmful for the growth of the baby and therefore, it must not be taken by pregnant mothers unless it is recommended by the doctor. This must be given sufficient attention, especially during the first and last trimesters and before or during periods of labour.
The use of Lorazepam on a regular basis during pregnancy should particularly be avoided, since the developing baby may end up becoming dependent on the medicine and later suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
If this medicine is used in late pregnancy (third trimester) or during labour, it may result in low body temperatures and difficulties in feeding and breathing in the baby after the birth has taken place.
Also, this medication might be excreted into breast milk. As a result, mothers who are breastfeeding must abstain from using this medicine since it may be dangerous for the infant who is nursing.
What are the Side effects of Lorazepam on the elderly?
Lorazepam may cause potential critical side effects for the elderly.
Lorazepam impairs body balance and standing steadiness and is associated with falls and hip fractures in the elderly.
Before taking this medicine, it is essential to notify your doctor if you have recently experienced a loss, for instance, a recent death of a relative. Lorazepam has an impact on the way in which you psychologically adjust to such events.
Drowsiness as well as dizziness are possible side effects of using this medicine. For an older person who is sensitive to drug therapy, it is more likely that mental confusion and unsteadiness may occur with the intake of this medicine. The intake of alcohol, sleeping aids and muscle relaxants may elevate the effects of this medicine. An elderly who is living alone might experience more negative side effects associated with this treatment.
The elderly who use Lorazepam might have a slower metabolism rate and therefore might be more prone to developing muscle weakness conditions and improper coordination.