Dosage And Administration
DOSAGE: The dosage and duration of therapy of Ativan (lorazepam) must be individualized and carefully titrated in order to avoid excessive sedation or mental and motor impairment.
As with other anxiolytic sedatives, short courses of treatment should usually be the rule for the symptomatic relief of disabling anxiety in psychoneurotic patients and the initial course of treatment should not last longer than one week without reassessment of the need for a limited extension. Initially, not more than one week's supply of the drug should be provided and automatic prescription renewals should not be allowed. Subsequent prescriptions, when required, should be limited to short courses of therapy.
The lowest effective dose of Ativan (lorazepam) should be prescribed for the shortest duration possible. The risk of withdrawal and rebound phenomena is greater after abrupt discontinuation; therefore the drug should be discontinued gradually. Withdrawal symptoms (e.g., rebound insomnia) can appear following cessation of recommended doses after as little as one week of therapy. Abrupt discontinuation of lorazepam should be avoided and a gradual, dose-tapering schedule followed after extended therapy.
Symptoms reported following discontinuation of benzodiazepines include: headache, anxiety, tension, depression, insomnia, restlessness, confusion, irritability, sweating, rebound phenomena, dysphoria, dizziness, derealization, depersonalization, hyperacusis, numbness/tingling of extremities, hypersensitivity to light, noise and physical contact/perceptual changes, involuntary movements, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hallucinations,/delirium, convulsions/seizures, tremor, abdominal cramps, myalgia, agitation, palpitations, tachycardia, panic attacks, vertigo, hyperreflexia, short-term memory loss, and hyperthermia. Convulsions/seizures may be more common in patients with pre-existing seizure disorders or who are taking other drugs that lower the convulsive threshold, such as antidepressants.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The recommended initial adult daily oral dosage is 2 mg in divided doses of 0.5, 0.5 and 1 mg, or of 1 mg and 1 mg. The daily dosage should be carefully increased or decreased by 0.5 mg depending upon tolerance and response. The usual daily dosage is 2 to 3 mg. However, the optimal dosage may range from 1 to 4 mg daily in individual patients. Usually, a daily dosage of 6 mg should not be exceeded.
In elderly and debilitated patients, the initial daily dose should not exceed 0.5 mg and should be very carefully and gradually adjusted, depending upon tolerance and response.
Excessive Anxiety Prior to Surgical Procedures: Adults: Usually 0.05 mg/kg to a maximum of 4 mg total, given by the sublingual route 1 to 2 hours before surgery. As with all premedicant drugs, the dose should be individualized. Doses of other central nervous system depressant drugs should be ordinarily reduced.
ADMINISTRATION: The sublingual tablet, when placed under the tongue, will dissolve in approximately 20 seconds. The patients should not swallow for at least 2 minutes to allow sufficient time for absorption.