The effect of lorazepam on pain and anxiety in abortion

Contraception. 2003 Mar;67(3):219-21. doi: 10.1016/s0010-7824(02)00516-4.


In this double-blind study, 104 women were randomized to receive 1 mg lorazepam or placebo prior to a first-trimester abortion. In addition, 262 women were allowed to choose whether or not to take the lorazepam. The outcome measures were 11-point verbal pain scales of pain during the abortion and anxiety measured before premedication and during the abortion. The mean anxiety and pain scores did not differ significantly in the lorazepam and placebo groups of the randomized trial. In the observational group, the women who took lorazepam had their mean anxiety score drop from 5.5 to 4.7 while in those who did not take it, the score rose from 3.8 to 4.9. This study indicates that giving oral benzodiazepines preoperatively is neither helping nor hurting our patients but the placebo effect can be helpful to make our patients more comfortable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / methods*
  • Abortion, Induced / psychology
  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety / drug therapy*
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / therapeutic use*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Lorazepam