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Lorazepam (By injection)

Lorazepam (lor-AZ-e-pam)

Treats seizures. Also used to relieve anxiety before surgery.

Brand Name(s):

Ativan, LORazepam Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to lorazepam, benzyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, or similar medicines, if you are pregnant, or if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, sleep apnea, or severe lung disease.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given a shot into a muscle or vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how lorazepam works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Clozapine, haloperidol, loxapine, phenobarbital, probenecid, scopolamine, or valproate
    • Birth control pill
    • Medicine to treat depression, including MAO inhibitor
    • Phenothiazine medicine
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, lung disease or breathing problems, or a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
  • This medicine may cause respiratory depression (serious breathing problem that can be life-threatening), when used with narcotic pain medicines.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Extreme tiredness or weakness, slow heartbeat, problems with coordination or walking
  • Worsening seizures

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Drowsiness, sleepiness
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 8/28/2020

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