Lorazepam is a short-term therapy used to help relieve anxiety or sleeping problems (also known as insomnia) associated with anxiety.
This medicine may also be used to ease and help you relax before surgery.
Take Lorazepam exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as a tablet or as an oral solution.
If you are taking the oral solution, use the measuring syringe or dropper provided to measure your dose.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition.
Do not take this medicine for a longer period than instructed by your doctor. Inform your doctor if this medicine does not seem to help you.
Do not stop taking Lorazepam suddenly as this may worsen your condition. Your doctor will gradually reduce the dose before stopping it completely. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- breathing problems e.g. respiratory depression (slow or ineffective breathing)
- sleep apnoea (sleep disorder that causes interrupted breathing during sleep)
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- narrow-angle glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- depressed with or without anxiety problems
- severe liver disease
as Lorazepam may not be suitable for you.
Do not take this medicine if you are planning to have a baby soon, or if you are on your 1st or 3rd trimester of pregnancy. If you become pregnant while being treated with Lorazepam, alert your doctor immediately. this medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- long-term lung disease that causes airflow obstruction making it hard to breathe
- personality or mood disorders
- history of drug abuse or alcoholism
- condition which increases the risk of falls
- kidney disease
- mild to moderate liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Lorazepam to a child, elderly, or those who are debilitated (a person who is physically or mentally weak usually due to illness or old age) as they may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine.
This medicine is not intended for long-term use or used as main treatment for psychotic illness.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Regular monitoring of your blood pressure, heart rate and status may be needed while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Routine tests (e.g. blood tests, liver function) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Lorazepam may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: weakness, tiredness, unsteadiness, muscle weakness, and rash.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- shortness of breath, slow or shallow breathing
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, violent, aggressive, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- having thoughts of self-harm
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- impaired consciousness (reduced alertness, disorientation, fainting)
- memory loss or forgetfulness
- severe stomach pain, unusual tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine
- withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, irritability, unusual sweating
- unusual bleeding or bruising
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or throat, stop taking Lorazepam and inform your doctor immediately. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- sodium oxybate (medicine to treat excessive daytime sleepiness)
- zidovudine (medicine for HIV infection)
- medicines for mood disorders e.g. clozapine, haloperidol
- strong painkillers e.g. methadone
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenobarbital, valproate
- medicines for cold and allergy e.g. hydroxyzine
- medicines for Parkinson’s disease (a disorder that affects movement of a person) e.g. levodopa
- gastric medicines e.g. cimetidine, omeprazole, cisapride
- certain antibiotics e.g. erythromycin
- medicines to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. isoniazid, rifampicin
- asthma medicines e.g. theophylline, aminophylline
- medicines for withdrawal symptoms e.g. lofexidine
- medicines used to treat muscle spasm e.g. tizanidine, baclofen
- disulfiram (medicine to treat alcoholism)
- nabilone (medicine to treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Lorazepam.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol intake may worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Lorazepam.
Avoid excessive consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (more than 1 litre a day).
Try to limit your intake of caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and certain soft drinks. This is because caffeine may reduce the effects of this medicine.
Store the tablet in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Store the oral solution in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.