What Is Lorazepam Sublingual?

Christina Whyte

Lorazepam sublingual is a benzodiazepine type medication for anxiety. Sublingual lorazepam is taken by holding it under the tongue, referred to as sublingually, until it dissolves. It is an effective and generally safe medicine, but lorazepam sublingual can cause some side effects and there are precautions that must be taken when using it.

Lorazepam sublingual is used to treat anxiety and tension problems.
Lorazepam sublingual is used to treat anxiety and tension problems.

Normally used by adults for anxiety and tension, lorazepam sublingual is sometimes used by children with seizures or anxiety. It can also be taken to help with the nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. Lorazepam sublingual is particularly useful for acute anxiety and seizures because it is a fast-acting medication, but swallowing it before it fully dissolves reduces its effectiveness.

Sublingual lorazepam is sometimes prescribed to treat panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sublingual lorazepam is sometimes prescribed to treat panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There are a number of potential side effects that may be caused by using lorazepam sublingual. Drowsiness, dizziness, coordination problems, and concentration problems are the most common. Patients should not drive or perform tasks requiring mental alertness until the effect the drug will have on a particular person is known. Alcohol may increase the drowsiness-related side effects of lorazepam sublingual, so it should be avoided while taking this medication unless the patient is told otherwise by a doctor.

Concentration problems and drowsiness caused by lorazepam sublingual may make it difficult to work while taking the medication.
Concentration problems and drowsiness caused by lorazepam sublingual may make it difficult to work while taking the medication.

Allergic reactions to lorazepam are serious, and include shortness of breath, rash, itching, and swelling. Breathing problems, a pounding heart rate, excessive sleepiness and confusion, memory loss, or mood changes can all indicate a serious adverse reaction, and patients experiencing any of these symptoms should seek medical attention right away. Some people also have a paradoxical reaction to this medication and become more anxious and hyperactive after taking it. Patients should speak to a doctor about any severe, bothersome, or persistent side effect, and a change in dosage or a different medication may be required.

A generic medication, lorazepam is also marketed under the brand name AtivanĀ®.
A generic medication, lorazepam is also marketed under the brand name AtivanĀ®.

Upon sudden stoppage of lorazepam sublingual treatment, patients may experience withdrawal effects such as seizures, cramps, and hallucinations. For this reason, patients should never discontinue lorazepam without doctor supervision. Lorazepam may be addictive, particularly if used for a long period of time, and so patients should never take more than the dosage prescribed and should ensure that nobody else has access to this medication.

Unlike antidepressants, benzodiazepines such as lorazepam provide fast-acting relief from anxiety symptoms.
Unlike antidepressants, benzodiazepines such as lorazepam provide fast-acting relief from anxiety symptoms.

Lorazepam may interact negatively with other medication, particularly sedatives, anti-depressants, narcotic painkillers, and anti-convulsives. Patients should ensure that the prescribing doctor is aware of all medications, vitamins, and supplements taken to avoid any drug interactions. If a dose is missed, it is important that patients not take two doses at once.

Exercise may help reduce anxiety without the high potential for addiction that comes with benzodiazepines.
Exercise may help reduce anxiety without the high potential for addiction that comes with benzodiazepines.
Drinking alcohol will increase the drowsiness that often accompanies lorazepam sublingual.
Drinking alcohol will increase the drowsiness that often accompanies lorazepam sublingual.

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Discussion Comments

ysmina

Sublingual medications are best for emergency situations. I have social anxiety and I keep sublingual tablets with me at work. If I have to give a presentation, I take my lorazepam medication just five minutes before and can get through it.

donasmrs

@turkay1-- Yea, I take the sublingual kind and it works great. It tastes good too, it's kind of sweet. I also think you should switch to it if you have trouble swallowing. The sublingual tablets dissolve in no time, so it won't give your throat trouble.

I was on the regular tablets first too and then switched. I'm happier on the sublingual tablets because it takes effect more quickly. I guess medications enter the bloodstream faster from the mouth.

You might want to start out with a smaller dose though. Since the medication takes effect rapidly, lorazepam side effects can be slightly more until your body adjusts. Just follow your doctor's directions.

candyquilt

I accidentally chewed on my regular lorazepam tablet once and it tasted horrible. Does the sublingual kind taste okay? And is it just as effective as the regular tablets?

I have tonsillitis and have trouble swallowing my pills. I'm going to ask my doctor if he can switch me to lorazepam sublingual tablets but I want to make sure that they will work just as well as the regular kind.

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