Lorazepam is a medication that is prescribed primarily for anxiety. Lorazepam is classified as a benzodiazepine with properties of sedation. As one of the classical benzodiazepines, Lorazepam was first introduced to health care professionals in 1971.
According to WebMD.com, Lorazepam is most commonly prescribed in cases of panic attacks, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal and seizures.
Designed in 1971 and manufactured as one of the classical benzodiazepines, Lorazepam was originally referred to as Ativan and Temesta. Generic brands of Lorazepam are also well known and prescribed under the names of Anxira, Lorax, Nervistop and Somnium to name a few, according to WebMD.com.
Side Effects and Paradoxical Reactions
Most common side effects of Lorazepam are related to the sedative properties of the drug. These side effects include but are not limited to; drowsiness, weight loss, loss of appetitie, decreased concentration, dizziness, lack of coordination and impaired driving skills. Weight gain, as well as weight loss, has also been experienced by some users.
A paradoxical reaction to a drug is a side effect that is unexpected and opposite to the normally produced effects. Reported paradoxical reactions to Lorazepam have included aggression and violence, irritability, impulsivity and loss of control. The paradoxical reactions occur in less than 1 percent of the population taking the drug.
Weight Loss as Side Effect
Lorazepam has caused decreased appetite and weight loss in some cases, and weight gain in others.
According to The Athlete.com Lorazepam is most commonly prescribed in dosages of 2 to 6 mg per day however it is not uncommon to be prescribed between 1 and 10 mg per day. Typically the largest dose of the medication is taken before bed.
Lorazepam is prescribed in different dosages for different symptoms. For example when prescribed for insomnia Lorazepam is typically prescribed in doses of 2 to 4 mg a day, usually at bedtime. And for anxiety the drug is typically prescribed in doses between 2 and 3 mg per day and is taken two to three times throughout the day.
Benzodiazepines cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Doctors urge patients to stay on the drug until directed to do otherwise. Patients who go off Lorazepam do so under strict supervision of their healthcare professional. Benzodiazepines carry with them severe withdrawal symptoms because of the addictive properties. Patients become dependent upon the drug and eventually build up a tolerance to the drug.
Impulse control and aggression are the most concerning of the paradoxical reactions to Lorazepam. These side effects typically do not occur until after chronic and prolonged use of the prescribed medication.
Lorazepam is among the most highly addictive of the benzodiazepine drug family.