Ativan (lorazepam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-Zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). It is thought that lorazepam works by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
Ativan is a prescription medicine used to treat anxiety disorders.
It is dangerous to purchase Ativan on the Internet or outside the United States. The sale and distribution of medicines outside the U.S. do not comply with the safe-use regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These medications may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy.
Ativan can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing.
MISUSE OF ATIVAN CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
You should not use Ativan if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, severe respiratory insufficiency, myasthenia gravis, or if you are allergic to Valium or a similar medicine.
Do not use Ativan if you are pregnant. Lorazepam can cause birth defects or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.
Lorazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Ativan should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Do not stop using Ativan without asking your doctor. You may have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use. Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer.
Get medical help right away if you stop using Ativan and have symptoms such as unusual muscle movements, being more active or talkative, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, or thoughts about suicide.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use it if you have:
- narrow-angle glaucoma; or
- a history of allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine (lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, Valium, Xanax, Versed, Klonopin, and others).
To make sure Ativan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder;
- drug or alcohol addiction;
- depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
- kidney or liver disease;
- seizures; or
- an allergy to aspirin or yellow food dye.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you use Ativan during pregnancy, your baby could be born with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and may need medical treatment for several weeks.
You should not breastfeed while you are taking it.
If you do breastfeed, tell your doctor if you notice drowsiness, feeding problems, or slow weight gain in the nursing baby.