Lorazepam side effects unfortunately come in many shapes and sizes, not to mention with different levels of potency. In some cases they even resemble the ailments they are supposed to fight, including anxiety and insomnia.
It is important then, that any person prescribed lorazepam, as well as friends and family around them, pays particularly close attention to these side effects. What follows is a closer inspection of lorazepam side effects, detailing what you should keep an eye on.
The first thing that anybody who has been prescribed this benzodiazepine drug should know is that this is a highly addictive drug, and should be used only as a short-term treatment. If you experience prolonged exposure to the likes of acute anxiety and insomnia, it is probably better to shift to an alternative with lower risk levels.
One of the reasons that doctors and healthcare professionals prescribe lorazepam is the fact that it works extremely quickly. Whilst this is ideal for alleviating the symptoms of your illness, it also means that lorazepam side effects can also become apparent very quickly.
Short-term lorazepam side effects may include some of, or in severe cases, all of the following:
Unsteadiness (impaired body balance)
Vomiting and nausea
Anterograde amnesia (forgetfulness, or the inability to make new memories)
If you suspect you or somebody you know is suffering from any of these lorazepam side effects it is vital that you visit your healthcare provider and discuss alternative medications. If these side effects last for a prolonged period it may be necessary to visit the emergency room.
Long-term lorazepam side effects
Whilst the lorazepam side effects described above are likely to reside once you are no longer taking the drug, there are a number of other conditions that can stay within the body, and mind, for a longer period, including after you have completed your course of medication.
Long-term lorazepam side effects may include the following:
Cognitive impairments (this can include a number of mental health problems such as depression, delirium and psychosis)
Tolerance of all lorazepam side effects
The cognitive impairments mentioned above are often a result of overdosing or long-term usage of the drug and do not necessarily affect those that use lorazepam for a short term of relief. It is also worth mentioning here that this particular drug is not administered to those with predisposed mental health problems.
As with the short-term lorazepam side effects, if you or somebody you know are suffering from any of the above, you should visit with your healthcare professional immediately.
Paradoxial lorazepam side effects
One of the more surprising things you may not know about lorazepam is that it may also be responsible for what are known as paradoxical side effects. This means that those taking the drug as medication may actually feel the very symptoms that are supposed to be relieved.
Such opposite effects include a heightened level of anxiety, continued problems sleeping, and in some cases, more frequent seizures, which the drug is also used to combat. As we will see, these particular lorazepam side effects may also be apparent in those attempting to wean themselves from the drug.
Anybody that feels they are suffering from paradoxical lorazepam side effects should consult a professional, who may well change their medication to a more suited drug, such as diazepam.
Lorazepam side effects associated with reduced dosages
Unlike many other prescription drugs, a course of lorazepam cannot be simply stopped. Instead it is essential that the patient is weaned from the highly addictive drug.
This poses another problem for doctors and other healthcare professionals. Finding the correct dosage initially is tough enough, but finding the right dosage as well as weaning time is equally, if not more so, tough. The wrong dosage can lead to patients suffering further lorazepam side effects or withdrawal symptoms.
The list of withdrawal symptoms may actually be longer than the entire list of lorazepam side effects, be they sort or long-term. Many are similar to those listed above but some others worth keeping a look out for include:
Increased sensitivity to light, sound and smell
Hallucination and a sense of the unreal
Palpitations and tremors
Again if you are suffering from any of these lorazepam side effects, you should consult a doctor immediately.