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A male asked:

I'm having an anxiety attack, and i am afraid to take my prescribed ativan (lorazepam). after reading the side effects, i'm too paranoid. never taken the pill. what should i do?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 27 years experience
Dr. : Dr. Kardener provided some very good information and suggestions. Just to add a bit. When you read about side effects for any medications - that does not mean you are going to get side effects. It is just informing you about the possibility of a side effect. This information is obtained by seeing what kind of side effects people have had in the past. If everyone who took medications got all the side effects listed, no one would ever take any pills. I agree with sharing your concerns with your provider. Don't mix this medication with alcohol. Take care.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Sheldon Kardener
Dr. Sheldon Kardeneranswered
Psychiatry 29 years experience
I : I wish we had a medication, whether prescribed of over the counter, that was free of side-effects. There just are none. However, the curious thing about side-effects is that if you don't get them, they haven't happened! not unlike the statistics for anything you can think of, it is only if you experience them do they hold true. For examly, if a cancer is 98% curable, that means 2% don't survive. If a cancer is 98% fatal, and you are the 2% cured, that is what counts. There are a number of very good medications for anxiety. Ativan (lorazepam) is a good one generally for intermittent use as needed. If the symptoms are constant, then another regularly used agent may be better. In the meanwhile, I am uncertain what side-effect you are most concerned with about using the medication prescribed. But one suggestion would be to talk with the prescribing doctor about your concerns and perhaps even asking if you can stay in the doctor's waiting room for a few hours after you have taken it to be reassured that should anything serious arise, the doctor and staff are right there. One side-effect for sure to be aware of is sedation. So if you start on the medication, you may want a driver available should you become excessively drowsy. With use, this symptom gradually diminishes, or another agent can be used instead should it be a problem. It is important to also note that other forms of treatment can be helpful as well such as cognitive behavioral therapy, desensitization therapy, and don't forget the value of exercise on a regular basis to help with symptoms as well. Do discuss the difficulty directly with your doctor as an answer does exist for the problem you are having.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. John Moranville
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Side effects: Agree with dr kardener and dr fowler. Be aware that during preliminary drug trials prior to approval by the fda, any symptoms even if only a remote possibility they are associated with the medication must be reported. Many people tolerate this and other medications with no side effects at all. On the other hand it is good you are concerned, Ativan (lorazepam) can be addictive if used consistently.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Feb 18, 2023


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