Generic Name: Lorazepam

Used to Treat: epilepsy

Seizure Type: All seizure types

Forms of the medicine:

1 mg. - 10 mg.

General Info:
What is Ativan?
Ativan (AT-ih-van) is a commonly used medication to reduce anxiety. Doctors may prescribe Ativan as an add-on medication to treat a variety of seizure types. It is the brand name for the medicine Lorazepam (lor-A-ze-pam). It is one of a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zo-di-AZE-i-peens).

How do I take Ativan?
Ativan can be habit-forming. It is important to take this medication exactly as it is prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or longer than recommended by your doctor. Do not change your dosage without your doctor's advice. Tell your doctor if the medication does not seem to work in treating your condition.

Ativan comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken one to four times a day and may be taken with or without food. It is recommended to take this medication in the same manner and at the same time each day.

Tolerance may develop with long-term or excessive use, making the drug less effective. This medication must be taken regularly to be effective. Do not skip doses even if you feel that you do not need them. Do not take Ativan for more than 4 months or stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. Stopping the drug suddenly can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiousness, sleeplessness, and irritability). Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually.

What if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take an extra dose, unless prescribed by your doctor.

What if I experience side effects?
Various side effects may occur in taking this medicine. Most side effects are not serious and may disappear naturally. Call your doctor if you have any questions concerning your possible side effects. However, do not stop taking your medication without advice from your doctor. They will discuss and recommend possible options. At times it is necessary to continue taking your medication despite these side effects.

There are other side effects that may be serious and indicate that your body is not tolerating the drug properly. Call a doctor right away if these side effects become severe or cause considerable problems in your daily functions. If you experience a change in seizures, severe rash, or allergic reaction contact your doctor immediately as these may indicate potentially life threatening problems.

Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Blurred vision
  • Worsening of seizures
  • Shuffling walk
  • Persistent, fine tremor or inability to sit still
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Severe skin rash
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Irregular heartbeat

Keep this medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store your prescription at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (i.e. not the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

Recommendation for women
Safety in pregnancy has not been established. Women who are taking this medication and who wish to become pregnant should discuss treatment options with their physicians before the pregnancy begins.

Other helpful information
Ativan may cause drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, or difficulty with coordination. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Ativan with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it. Do not perform tasks that could be unsafe for you or others if you should lose consciousness. Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness while you are using Ativan. Because Ativan has the potential to interact with many other commonly prescribed medications, it is important to let your doctor know if a new drug has been recently prescribed to you to make certain to correct for any potential drug interactions.

Side Effects

Unsteadiness, Behavior changes, Fatigue, Sleepiness, Drowsiness, Poor coordination, Weakness, Dry mouth, Upset stomach, Dizziness