The discussion about mixing of alcohol with other drugs like antibiotics or medications for anxiety will always be one big issue. This time, we will elaborate about specific drug, which is lorazepam. The urge to discuss about the danger of mixing alcohol and lorazepam is becoming important because not many people understand about the threat. Before talking about the danger of mixing alcohol and lorazepam, let’s talk about this drug first.
Know More about Lorazepam
Lorazepam is the kind of drug to ease acute anxiety disorder symptoms and insomnia. It is classified as benzodiazepine, drug that can influence the function of specific cell inside the brain. Mostly, lorazepam will work to give relaxing effect to the brain. That’s why sometimes lorazepam is also used as sedative treatment for patient before doing small operation procedure like epilepsy or dental problems. Lorazepam can only be consumed in short term as it can trigger addiction to the relaxing feeling.
Considering the power of this drug, lorazepam can only be consumed under medical prescription. It can be in form of injection drug or tablet. There are various names of drugs containing lorazepam. Though adult and children above 5 years old can consume lorazepam, but there are certain restrictions of consuming lorazepam:
- Must not be consumed by pregnant women or a person who are planning to have a baby. Lorazepam is dangerous drug for the womb.
- Breastfeeding mother also must not consume this kind of drugs. The intake of lorazepam can be distributed to the baby.
- Elderly people and a person with sleeping problem can’t consume lorazepam. The same thing applies to person with glaucoma or mental problems.
- Prohibited to those who once became addicted to drugs or alcoholic drinks.
- Not to be consumed during mental alertness activities like driving or operating heavy tools.
- The prescription of lorazepam must be less than one month. Never stop the lorazepam intake in a sudden or without doctor’s consultation.
- Never consume lorazepam together with grapefruit juice, caffeine, and alcoholic drinks.
The last point of restrictions emphasizes the danger of mixing alcohol and lorazepam. This relaxing drug has sedative effect, which can be worse if being consumed together with drugs. Actually if a person consumes lorazepom accordingly, it won’t give any harm. For people with anxiety disorder, he or she only needs to drink 1 until 4 milligrams of lorazepam a day. Most medical prescriptions will only give low dosage during the treatment of lorazepam. Considering that this drug can trigger addiction, the duration of treatment will be short to minimize the chance to feel addicted.
What Some Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Lorazepam?
To underline the relation of these 2 substances: lorazepam interacts negatively to alcohol. When someone is consuming alcohol, the brain will work to tolerate the intake and bring back the body to the baseline. If a person is taking lorazepam for long time, the body starts to tolerate the effect. It means that the body and brain system is “working hard”. But if there is drug like lorazepam interfering, the effect will be worse. When being consumed together with other drugs, alcohol might worsen drowsiness. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) once revealed that when alcohol is mixed with third substance like drug, there would be bad euphoric effects to the body. To make it clearer, here are the dangers of mixing alcohol and lorazepam are:
- When consumed together with alcohol, anxiety medications like lorazepam can bring high risk of falling or having car accident. This is due to impaired motor coordination and ability to concentrate. People who mix alcohol and lorazepam also have low capability to determine the dangerous situations around them.
- The mixing of alcohol and lorazepam can also trigger life-threatening respiratory depression.
- The stimulant effect from mixing alcohol and lorazepam will interfere the sleeping pattern and break the metabolism of body.
- For people with heart disease, mixing alcohol and lorazepam can lead to intolerable rapid heart rate. Human Psychoparmacology once did a research and found out that blood levels of people who mix alcohol and lorazepam are significantly higher than normal people.
- The intensified effects from mixing of alcohol and lorazepam might increase the chance of sudden death.
There are numerous other side effects that can be different from one person to another. Mixing alcohol and lorazepam at the same time is not a good step. It can still bring negative effects even if not consumed at the exact same time. Another thing that is important to note is: this danger is not only applied during mixing of alcoholic beverages only. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that medications over the counter like cold, cough medicines might contain alcohol. It’s possible that people who are regularly consuming lorazepam and feel ill will consume the medications without thinking about the alcohol composition. Lorazepam enhances the effects of alcohol, and vice versa. So it can be concluded that anyone must not mix alcohol with any type of medication, be it over-the-counter, under prescription, or recreational.
How to Stay Safe?
However, the danger of mixing alcohol and lorazepam should not be intimidating anyone to take medications. Most importantly, everyone must understand how to manage and prevent the danger. Please bear in mind that drugs with therapeutic index like lorazepam are prone to alcohol interaction. This is not only in terms of mixing alcohol and lorazepam, but also during interaction between drugs that can lead to fatal consequences. So how to stay safe from the danger of mixing alcohol and lorazepam:
- Read the guide to consume medication every time you are about to consume new kind of drugs.
- Tell the doctor or health care providers when to start and stop the medication.
- Never stop the intake of drugs in sudden, or without communicating it with the doctor.
- Learn about list of drug interaction and keep it updated.
- During medications, be cautious of every food and beverages that you consume.
Drug like lorazepam would only give temporary relaxed feeling for people who are struggling with anxiety. Within just one hour after consuming it, a person will immediately feel the difference. But it’s important to remember that consuming alcohol along with drug will bring high risk of long-term issues.