Lorazepam dosage is vitally important when it comes to correctly administering the benzodiazepine drug. Too high a lorazepam dosage can lead to dependency issues whilst too small a lorazepam dosage will have little or no impact on the ailment it is supposed to be treating.
What is lorazepam used for?
Like other benzodiazepine drugs, lorazepam (also known by its brand name of Ativan) is used as a short-term treatment for severe anxiety, insomnia and acute seizures. It can also be used as a muscle relaxant before unpleasant medical procedures, including dental work and endoscopies.
The right lorazepam dosage will both relax muscles and chemically adjust the part of the brain responsible for emotions. It creates a sort of mental numbness, or ‘takes the edge off’ as many patients describe it, which calms the nerves and mind.
Lorazepam dosage for Anxiety
One of the principle uses of the drug is to calm severe anxiety. The actual lorazepam dosage will vary according to a number of factors, including the age of the patient, the condition of their health and any medication they are already taking.
As a rule of thumb, the average lorazepam dosage for a physically healthy adult suffering acute anxiety is 1mg administered two to three times per day.
In all cases the lowest effective dosage is the best but some patients find that they require a larger dose. A 2mg dose is commonly used as a starting point from which a general practitioner/doctor can raise or drop the level of lorazepam accordingly.
In very few cases a lorazepam dosage higher than 4mg is prescribed.
Lorazepam dosage for Insomnia
The drug is often prescribed to those suffering insomnia, which itself can be a result of anxiety. The lorazepam dosage for those with such sleeping ailments tends to be higher than for anxiety itself, but administered less often.
Again, the actual dosage varies depending on the individual and their personal circumstances, but it is often recommended that a 4mg lorazepam dosage is taken once a day – before bedtime.
For elderly people suffering from either anxiety or insomnia, it is recommended that a smaller dose be administered, mainly as a result of some of the drug’s side effects. For example, some users complain that the benzodiazepine drug results in dizziness, unsteadiness and an impaired balance. Such effects can be extremely dangerous for the elderly.
Lorazepam dosage for Seizures
Whilst it can be used to counter seizures, lorazepam is not used as first line medication for seizure-inducing conditions such as epilepsy due to the addictive nature of even a small lorazepam dosage. As such, it is uncommon for a layman to need to know the lorazepam dosage administered to counteract a seizure.
The actual dosage is determined by the medical professional attending the seizing victim. Such is the power, potency and near-immediate impact of lorazepam, it is likely that only a small quantity will be necessary.
Lorazepam side effects It may come as a surprise to some but even the smallest lorazepam dosage may result in side effects. Common side effects of the drug include sedation, dizziness, weakness, unsteadiness, depression, Anterograde amnesia – the act of becoming in capable of creating new memories – vomiting, nausea and impaired respiration.
As well as these standard side effects, the drug can also create paradoxical effects; that is to say it can cause the opposite effect of what it is trying to heal. As such, users may suffer from enhanced anxiety, sleep deprivation, depression, and other mental ailments. A similar reaction may be experienced when trying to withdraw from using the drug. This makes it particularly important to get the right lorazepam dosage.
It also only takes a small lorazepam dosage for a user to become dependent on the drug, which in turn can lead to long-term addiction problems. In fact, it has been estimated that dependence develops in as many as one-in-three users.
Ultimately, due to the above factors it is of great importance that if a person is prescribed the drug they should great care and are observant of the lorazepam dosage that the doctor has chosen, ensuring that they immediately return if for any reason they suspect that something might be wrong.