Generic Name: Lorazepam (lor-AZ-ze-pam)

Drug Class: Antianxiety Agent


Drug Uses

Lorazepam is used for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety associated with depressive symptoms. Your doctor may use this medicine to treat other conditions as well.

General Information

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How it Works

Works by enhancing the action of the nerve transmitter GABA, which in turn blocks higher brain centers. Also reduces the time it take to fall asleep.

How to Take It

Follow the directions given to you by your doctor, these are printed on your prescription label. Food does not affect this medicine so it can be taken with or without food. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice with this medicine. Do not take more of this medicine or take it longer than prescribed by your doctor. This medicine can be habit-forming.

Possible Side Effects

    • Side effects from lorazepam are common and include:

      • dizziness
      • drowsiness
      • tiredness
      • weakness
      • dry mouth
    • Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away; restlessness or excitement, constipation, difficulty urinating, blurred vision or changes in sex drive.


    • Do NOT increase your dose of this medicine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel that the medicine is not working.

    • Avoid alcohol with this medicine due to additive drowsy effects.

    • There are some risks of dependence with this medicine, if taken over a period of time.

    • Do NOT drive a car or perform other tasks that may be dangerous, until you know how this medicine affects you.


    • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

    • Lorazepam should not be taken with two medicines used to treat fungus. These are ketoconazole and itraconazole. If you are taking either of these medications, notify your doctor. Antibiotics such as clarithromycin or erythromycin when taken with lorazepam can increase the effects and side effects of this medicine.

    • Kava can increase the side effects of lorazepam and should be avoided.

    • Case reports show that St. John's Wort can decrease the therapeutic effects of lorazepam medicine. Talk to your health care professional before taking any nonprescription or herbal products.

Missed Dose

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


This medicine should not be used if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This medicine can cause harm to your fetus. For breast-feeding mothers, check with your doctor to discuss any possible risks to your baby while taking this medicine.

More Information

Do not let anyone else take your medication. For more information on lorazepam, talk to your health care professional.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
    Published on All rights reserved.