When you read the title of the page, one might become concerned especially if you use this medication. The concern is if you are pregnant or want to get pregnant. Your unborn child should get every chance at a healthy birth. You begin with monitoring what you eat, your surrounding environment and even your schedule. For the next nine months and even after birth, your focus is the health of the child. Most of all, this changes if you suffer from anxiety. You see, Lorazepam (#lorazepam) is used to treat anxiety and other medical conditions. It does a lot of harm to an unborn child as well. Which is more important?
What Is Lorazepam?
Let us begin with what Lorazepam (brand name: Ativan) is. It belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are chemicals found in your body that contain a benzene ring as well as a diazepene ring and act as a psychoactive drug. The chemical structure enhances the neurotransmitters in your brain to act like a sedative, muscle relaxer or sleep inducer. Based on these properties, Lorazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders, people who have trouble sleeping and those who suffer from seizures.
Lorazepam has other uses associated with it. The prescription drug is used to sedate those who are on ventilation support and have trouble breathing on their own. Another use is for those undergoing chemotherapy and have nausea or vomiting. Another use is if the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked due to too much cocaine use. This condition is also known as acute coronary syndrome. Some other uses include during surgery to interfere with memory formation and to treat alcohol withdrawal.
As stated in the title, the main concern is the birth defects associated with this medication. First, let us begin with the fact that this prescription drug is addictive. Two medications currently on the market (Valium and Xanax) have the same or similar side effects. The FDA has classified benzodiazepines under Pregnancy Category D. To keep it simple, it means that it is likely to cause harm to the developing baby, if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. In addition, Lorazepam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. In fact, it is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old. Remember how this drug is addictive? Your unborn child can become addicted also. This adds further complications once your child is born.
With addiction comes Lorazepam withdrawal. Regardless of the Lorazepam dosage that you use, you can overdose and die from abusing it. Consuming alcohol while taking Lorazepam can increase the effects of alcohol. The combination with alcohol, narcotics or psychoactive drugs can slow your breathing, reduce your blood pressure and lead to death. In addition, watch out for paranoia or suicidal thoughts, impaired memory, impaired judgement and coordination. With this in mind, you can’t stop this drug cold turkey. You have to reduce the dosage over time so your body wont become dependent.
The less serious side effects include: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Because these side effects are considered less serious, you should still call a doctor and consult with him. Health and safety is of the utmost importance. Additional side effects to watch include: dizziness, drowsiness, unusual changes in mood or behavior,confusion, aggression, hallucinations and worsened sleep problems. Also add a sudden restless feeling or excitement, muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, trouble swallowing, vision changes, stomach pain, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Withdrawal from Lorazepam includes headaches, anxiety, tension, depression, insomnia, restlessness, confusion, irritability, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hallucinations, seizures, tremor, stomach cramps, panic attacks and short-term memory loss. The importance of following the doctors medication plan is critical to minimize the side effects. After all, we don’t want to exchange treatments from one disease to another. Have you used Lorazepam?