Ativan

What is the most important information I should know about Ativan?

· Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Ativan will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

· Avoid alcohol while taking Ativan. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by Ativan. Alcohol may also increase the risk of having a seizure if Ativan is being taken for a seizure condition.

· Ativan may be habit forming. Physical and/or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Do not stop taking Ativan suddenly without first talking to your doctor if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose.

 

What is Ativan?

· Ativan is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Ativan affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.

· Ativan is used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and tension associated with anxiety disorders. It is also used to treat certain types of seizure disorders and to relieve insomnia (induce sleep).

· Ativan may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

 

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Ativan?

· Do not take Ativan if you have narrow-angle glaucoma. Ativan may worsen this condition.

· Before taking Ativan, tell your doctor if you     ·have kidney disease;     ·have liver disease;     ·have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another respiratory disease; or     ·are depressed or have suicidal thoughts.

· You may not be able to take Ativan, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

· Ativan is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that Ativan is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

· Ativan passes into breast milk. Do not take Ativan without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

· If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from Ativan. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

 

How should I take Ativan?

· Take Ativan exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

· Ativan is also available as an injection. If you are using the injection at home, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions regarding preparation, administration, and storage of the injectable formulation.

· To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the oral concentrate with a dose-measuring spoon, dropper, or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

· Take each oral dose with a full glass of water.

· Ativan may be habit forming. Physical and/or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Do not stop taking Ativan suddenly without first talking to your doctor if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose.

· Your doctor may want you to have medical evaluations during treatment with Ativan to monitor progress and side effects.

· Store Ativan tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

· Store the Ativan oral concentrate in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 and 8 degrees Celsius), protected from light.

 

What happens if I miss a dose?

· Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication. A double dose could be dangerous.

 

What happens if I overdose?

· Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

· Symptoms of a Ativan overdose include sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, a slow heart beat, difficulty breathing, difficulty walking and talking, an appearance of being drunk, and unconsciousness.

 

What should I avoid while taking Ativan?

· Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Ativan will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

· Avoid alcohol while taking Ativan. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by Ativan. Alcohol may also increase the risk of a seizure if Ativan is being taken for a seizure condition.

· Ativan may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

 

What are the possible side effects of Ativan?

· If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Ativan and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:     ·an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; or hives);     ·sores in the mouth or throat;     ·yellowing of the skin or eyes;     ·a rash;     ·hallucinations or severe confusion; or     ·changes in vision.

· Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Ativan and talk to your doctor if you experience     ·drowsiness, dizziness, or clumsiness;     ·depression;     ·nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation;     ·difficulty urinating;     ·vivid dreams;     ·headache;     ·dry mouth;     ·decreased sex drive; or     ·changes in behavior.

· Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

 

What other drugs will affect Ativan?

· Ativan may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor.

· Antacids may decrease the effects of Ativan. Separate doses of an antacid and Ativan by several hours whenever possible.

· Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Ativan. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

 

Where can I get more information?

· Your pharmacist has additional information about Ativan written for health professionals that you may read.