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lorazepam (injection) (cont.)

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

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;
  • asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing disorders;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • if you are allergic to lorazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), or oxazepam (Serax).

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to receive lorazepam injection, or you may need a dose adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category D. Lorazepam can cause birth defects in 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.

It is not known whether lorazepam injection passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated with lorazepam to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medication.

How is lorazepam injection given (Ativan)?

Lorazepam is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in an emergency or surgical setting.

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

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you in surgery.

Lorazepam can make you very drowsy, dizzy, or light-headed. These effects may last longer in older adults. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury after you have received lorazepam injection. You may need help getting out of bed for at least the first 8 hours.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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