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What Is Lorazepam Used For?

How Does Lorazepam Work?

Lorazepam is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have several effects on the body, including:
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
All medicines in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why lorazepam and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).

Lorazepam Uses in Children

Lorazepam is not approved for use in children less than twelve years old. Talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using lorazepam in children.

Off-Label Lorazepam Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend lorazepam for something other than the condition listed in this article. Currently, some off-label lorazepam uses include the following:
  • Agitation treatment
  • Alcohol withdrawal treatment
  • Insomnia treatment
  • Sedation for people on a ventilator (since it can be disturbing to be awake with a breathing tube or a ventilator in place)
  • Preventing seizures
  • Restless legs syndrome treatment
  • Myoclonus treatment
  • Treating spastic disorders and other types of muscle spasms, such as those seen in people with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis.
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