Lorazepam Side Effects
Lorazepam side effects, similar to the other 15 or so FDA approved benzodiazepine medications in the US, not only derive from how it affects the GABA receptors in the CNS (central nervous system), but from interfering with multiple organs and how they function in the body.
Side effects of Lorazepam can extend to the liver, heart, bowels, lungs and respiratory system, the muscles, and other vital organs. Sedatives such as Lorazepam slow down the heart, the respiratory system, anything related to the CNS becomes dampened. Hypnotic/sedative drugs blunt emotions, blur memory and quell anxiety and fears. Higher dose injections of the drug in liquid form are used to anesthetize a person before surgery.
Dangers listed in the FDA's black box warning for this drug caution against concurrently taking other substances that act as CNS depressants. Most of the deaths and near-deaths associated with benzo drugs occurred when the person combined alcohol or opiates with medications like Lorazepam. The hypnotic or slowing down effect of benzodiazepines can lead to a total or near total shut down of vital organ function, and combining other depressants increases these risks significantly. Respiratory failure and coma can result.
Can Lorazepam Be Used as a "Date Rape" Drug?
Lorazepam can cause amnesia, relaxation, compliance, drowsiness, cognitive impairment, all the qualities of a date rape drug. The drug will blunt any natural resistance to being raped or robbed or assaulted, removing the ability for reasonable consent. Date rape drugs can wipe out the victim's memory of the details of trauma because it causes anterograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia prevents new memories from being formed, as in a blackout.
Suicide and Lorazepam
Lorazepam and other sedatives in the same class are the ones used most often to commit suicide.
Can You Become Dependent on Lorazepam?
After as little as two weeks of taking Lorazepam, the person is likely to become physically drug dependent. Regulatory bodies have now recommended prescribing benzo drugs for no more than two to four weeks. However, it is not uncommon for prescriptions to extend far beyond this safety limit. When a person stops taking Lorazepam, withdrawals can present quickly, and can be severe enough to require emergency treatment or hospitalization. These risks increase with the length of time one has taken the drug.
Common Lorazepam Side Effects List:
- heavy sedation
- confusion, mental impairment
- slowed heart rate, breathing
- emotional blunting
- can worsen depression
- hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
- muscle weakness
- hair loss
- loss of libido
- sensitivity to light
- shivering, shaking, trembling
- loss of coordination and balance
Deciding to discontinue any benzo safely requires careful guidance and a plan of action, which your current caregiver may not be able to provide. The Alternative to Meds Center has developed some programs that can help persons to reach their drug cessation goals safely and gently and relatively comfortably.
We invite you to call the number on this page for more detailed information on how the phases of treatment in our Lorazepam withdrawal program can assist you or a loved one to safely reduce and even eliminate medications, while at the same time improving overall health and vitality. Contact us to find out how we can help you overcome your challenges resulting from Lorazepam side effects.
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