Lorazepam – The facts

I’ve taken lorazepam on and off in the past over some years, and I realize some people might want to know more about it. First off, lorazepam is not some drug you can take wantonly. It belongs to the benzodiazepine group of anti anxiety drugs and it does what it says – with side effects.

Lorazepam is perhaps better known by its commercial brand name – Ativan. It is quite similar to another anti anxiety drug hydroxyzine or Atarax, but with a difference – More subtle, and longer running. That means it takes a long time to clear from the body, at least based on my experience. If you take Lorazepam at night, the chances are high that the next day you’ll be feeling the side effects for much of the day!

I’ve taken lorazepam for sleeping problems since 2003 on an on-off basis. The pills normally come in several different forms depending on the source manufacturer, but usually they look either white or pale yellow. Lorazepam is not Valium. It’s actually stronger than Valium (diazepam). But you can’t call it a sleeping pill, because that’s not what it’s meant for. It’s actually meant for reducing anxiety. But somehow or rather, lorazepam does make you sleep.

Lorazepam not only has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia, but has been used for treating irritable bowel syndrome and nausea/vomiting caused by chemotherapy. But there is a price to pay for the sleep that lorazepam gives – There are MANY bad side effects as well.

Side effects

lorazepam-2mgIt’s not surprising that lorazepam reportedly causes constipation. The human gastro-intestinal tract relies on a lot of muscular movements to operate efficiently. Lorazepam makes those muscles less sensitive by interfering with nerve impulses from the central nervous system.

In my case, lorazepam does make my body “passive” for the rest of the day, and yes, it definitely encourages constipation from time to time, and mental dullness. I now believe that lorazepam to be behind my muscle twitches, which arise whenever I take lorazepam for any prolonged period (eg more than 1 week) seeing how it interferes with normal nerve impulses.

Not only that, but one of the side effects of lorazepam seems to be in diminishing my memory and encouraging me to feel depressed. I’m quite forgetful these days, so I wonder if it could be due to lorazepam? It definitely is a mood dampener, and I’ve read that people taking high doses of lorazepam have behaved irrationally, even violently, and not remember much of what happened. Now that’s something to be of serious concern.

In my experience lorazepam causes or worsens skin dryness and causes dryness in the mouth (in the morning). It may interfere with coordination and balance, or cause dizziness. And like I mentioned earlier, it may cause you to be sleepy for almost the entire day after. That’s because lorazepam’s half life is 10-20 hours.

Who should avoid lorazepam

Lorazepam usually comes in tablets of 1 to 2 mg strength, although you usually only need 0.25 – 0.5 mg to get an effect, and you need a doctor’s prescription for it as well. Do NOT take lorazepam if:

  • You’re pregnant. Lorazepam can cause fetal deformities.
  • You’ve consumed alcohol or are an alcoholic.
  • You’ve consumed coffee or tea, anything that contains caffeine.
  • You’ve taken certain herbs. Many herbs can react with lorazepam. More details can be found here.
  • You’re depressed. Or have a history of depression.
  • You suffer from sleep apnea.

Natural solutions are still best

Lorazepam is pretty prone to cause a build up in tolerance in most people if abused, or taken on a long term basis. This means you’ll find yourself needing to take a larger (and larger) dose as a smaller dose won’t seem to work after a while. Not only that, but lorazepam is famous for causing addiction and going off it can result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. There are definitely many alternatives to lorazepam that definitely do not pose so many side effects or problems. You should check out all the natural alternatives like I did.

One Response to “Lorazepam – The facts”

  1. Thank you.