Lorazepam: Uses, Side effects, Dosage & FAQs

Lorazepam belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines.

This medicine works by improving the action of a particular natural chemical (GABA). This medicine can be used in the short term for the treatment of sleep disorders. Insomnia is a medical condition that causes low sleep quality and insufficient sleep over a prolonged period.

They affect the brain and nerves (central nervous system) and have a calming effect that relieves anxiety symptoms. It is a medication prescribed for the treatment of anxiety.

It is available as different brand names, but the most popular brand is Ativan.

It is available on prescription only, and it comes in tablet and liquid dosage form. It is not allowed and is dangerous to purchase this medicine from online or offline pharmacies.

Lorazepam Uses

It is used to treat and prevent the following conditions

  • Anxious mood
  • Panic disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Mechanism of action

Lorazepam binds to GABA-A receptors, which are ionotropic pentamer receptors in the CNS. The association potentiates the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which, when combined, opens the chloride channel into the receptor, allowing the chloride to enter and cause hyperpolarization of the neuron.

As this drug increases the activity of GABA in the brain, it increases these calming effects.

Black Box Warning

Please don’t use it in combination with other opioid drugs or other sedating drugs because it can cause serious side effects like slow and difficult breathing and may cause death.


You should not take this medication if you have:

  • Myasthenia gravis;
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma;
  • If you have a history of an allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine.

To make sure it is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Epilepsy;
  • kidney or liver disease
  • Open-angle glaucoma;
  • Asthma or other breathing disorder;

Lorazepam Side effects

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Lorazepam include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness

Some people may also experience less frequent side effects, such as:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Headache

While Serious side effects can include the following:

  • Breathing effects.
  • Psychological and physical dependence
  • Serious allergic reactions.
  • Suicidal thoughts.


Tell your doctor if you are already taking other medicines like

  • Anti Anxiety medication
  • Aminophylline or theophylline;
  • Probenecid
  • Antidepressant;
  • Narcotic pain medicine;
  • Phenobarbital
  • Seizure medicine;
  • Cold or allergy medicine
  • Sleep medicine,

Dosage for Lorazepam

The dose of Lorazepam will be adjusted to the needs of the patient.

  • The usual dose for treating anxiety is 2 to 6 mg orally every 8 to 12 hours as needed.
  • Insomnia is treated with 2-4 mg at bedtime.
  • It is recommended not to use it for longer than four weeks.


The duration of action of Lorazepam following IM administration is about 6-8 hours, and the peak plasma concentration is 60-90 minutes. The average sedative dose is 2 mg.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is it safe to take during pregnancy?

Do not use Lorazepam if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause congenital disabilities. Your baby can also become addicted to drugs. This can lead to fatal withdrawal symptoms of the baby after birth. Babies born dependent on the usual generators may need to be medically treated for several weeks. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor. Use effective contraception to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug.

2. Is Lorazepam safe during breastfeeding?

Lorazepam can pass into breast milk and harm a baby. It would help if you did not breastfeed while using this drug.

3. Can you drive while taking Lorazepam?

Lorazepam causes drowsiness and muscle weakness and may affect your ability to concentrate, alertness, and judgment. These effects can last until the next day. Do not drive or operate machinery. If you have ever received this drug during minor outpatient treatment, it is essential to have someone else available to accompany you to your home. You are not allowed to drive in the next 24 to 48 hours.

4. Can you drink alcohol with Lorazepam?

No, it would help if you did not drink any alcohol while taking Lorazepam or the day after taking it because this drug’s effect may last until the next day. Alcohol can affect you more than usual when you take benzodiazepine. It will probably also make drowsiness worse and cause concentration, alertness, coordination, and judgment problems. It can also cause you to lose your inhibitions or prevent you from controlling your emotions.

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