Lorazepam Side Effects
While most people tolerate lorazepam well, side effects can still occur during treatment with the drug. Some common side effects of lorazepam include dizziness, weakness, and unsteadiness. Lorazepam also has a number of more serious side effects that should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately. Among these more serious lorazepam side effects are seizures and suicidal thoughts.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with lorazepam (Ativan®); however, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If lorazepam side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with lorazepam. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of lorazepam side effects with you.)
Some side effects with lorazepam, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
- Depression (or worsening of existing depression)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Difficulty breathing
- Anxiety, excitation, or agitation
- Hostility, aggression, or rage
- Signs of an allergic reaction, including unexplained rash, hives, itching, and unexplained swelling.
Common Lorazepam Side Effects
Lorazepam has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common lorazepam side effects included:
- A sleeping or calming effect (known medically as sedation) -- in up to 15.9 percent of people
- Dizziness -- up to 6.9 percent
- Weakness -- up to 4.2 percent
- Unsteadiness -- up to 3.4 percent.
Some other possible side effects included:
- Memory loss
- Vertigo (a spinning sensation)
- Vision changes
- Slurred speech
- Sex drive changes
- Impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction or ED (see Ativan Sexual Side Effects)
- Orgasm problems
- Hair loss (see Ativan and Hair Loss)
- Slightly lower blood pressure.