central nervous system agent; benzodiazepine anxiolytic; sedative-hypnotic
Prototype: Lorazepam
Pregnancy Category: D
Controlled Substance: Schedule IV


Assessment & Drug Effects

  • Inspect insertion site for redness, pain, swelling, and other signs of extravasation during IV infusion.
  • Monitor for hypotension, especially if the patient is premedicated with a narcotic agonist analgesic.
  • Monitor vital signs for entire recovery period. In obese patient, half-life is prolonged during IV infusion; therefore, duration of effects is prolonged (i.e., amnesia, postoperative recovery).
  • Be aware that overdose symptoms include somnolence, confusion, sedation, diminished reflexes, coma, and untoward effects on vital signs.

Patient & Family Education

  • Do not drive or engage in potentially hazardous activities until response to drug is known. You may feel drowsy, weak, or tired for 1–2 d after drug has been given.
  • Be prepared for amnesia to prevent an upsetting postoperative period.
  • Review written instructions to assure future understanding and compliance. Patient teaching during amnestic period may not be remembered. Even if dose is small and depth of amnesia is unclear, relearn information.

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