December 16, 2018

Lorazepam Side Effects

Lorazepam is often prescribed to patients to treat anxiety, seizures and insomnia. In hospitals, it may be given to sedate patients who are anxious or aggressive. This medication is not commonly prescribed because it can be highly addictive. When it first began being prescribed in the 1970s, adolescents would take lorazepam and use it for recreational purposes.

This medication is only intended for short-term use. Over longer periods of time, lorazepam can cause dependence, cognitive impairments and high levels of tolerance. When patient stop using the drug, they have to be weaned off to prevent withdrawal effects. Patients who experience a withdrawal may suffer from psychosis, seizures, anxiety or problems sleeping. Out of all of the different patient populations, the elderly and children are more likely to suffer some of the negative effects of lorazepam.

Lorazepam Side Effects

Patients who take lorazepam are more likely to develop side effects if they are on the drug for a longer period of time. In some cases, patients may develop side effects like hostility, difficulty breathing or depression. They may also suffer from memory loss, dizziness, vertigo or headaches. Some individuals may also experience constipation, nausea and mental confusion.

Common side effects associated with using lorazepam include:

lorazepam side effects– Hallucinations
– Problems breathing
– Slurred speech
– Depression
– Loss of sexual libido
– Vertigo
– Mental confusion or disorientation
– Seizures or tremors
– Headaches
– Blurred vision or vision changes
– Hostility
– Lowered blood pressure
– Constipation or diarrhea
– Sweating
– Dizziness
– Erectile dysfunction or impotence
– Memory loss
– Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
– Seizures
– Sedation
– Insomnia
– Muscle cramping
– Fatigue or drowsiness
– Coordination issues
– Nausea or vomiting
– Slurred speech
– Hair loss

Some patients who take lorazepam may develop an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergy may include swelling of the face, hands, neck or tongue. Patients may also develop hives, a rash or unusual itching.

Warnings

Anyone who has a history of an allergy to lorazepam or benzodiazepine drugs should avoid taking this medication. Lorazepam may depress the respiratory system. For patients with asthma this effect could cause an acute asthma attack. The same side effect of lorazepam also makes it a bad drug for patients who have sleep apnea.

Individuals who are on other narcotics, psychoactive drugs or alcohol should not take lorazepam. Any other medications or intoxicants can negatively interact with lorazepam and should not be taken in conjunction with it.

The FDA classifies lorazepam as a pregnancy category D drug. This classification means that women who are pregnant or who may become pregnancy should not take lorazepam. If used during the first trimester, lorazepam can cause severe birth defects and mental problems. Women should also avoid using this medication while nursing because of the harm it could cause the infant.

Children and the Elderly

Studies have not been conducted on the safety of lorazepam usage in children. Individuals under the age of 18 may be more susceptible to side effects although it is sometimes used to treat seizures. Elderly patients should only use lorazepam if a doctor decides the benefits outweigh the risks. Elderly patients metabolize drugs like benzodiazepines slower. This can lead to a dangerously high level of lorazepam in the blood stream. Older patients also tend to be on other drugs which can cause negative interactions with lorazepam.

Anyone who has been addicted to alcohol or drugs should avoid using lorazepam since this drug is highly addictive. In addition, anyone who has had liver or kidney failure should avoid taking this medication. Although side effects are rare, patients should always try to use lorazepam for as short of a time period as possible. If patients experience any side effects, they should immediately contact their doctor for help and treatment. This medication can cause serious problems that should be addressed as soon as possible. Lorazepam should only be used under a doctor’s supervision to limit the potential for its misuse.