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Lorazepam (known as a central nervous system depressant) works to treat anxiety by slowing down nerve signals in the brain, to produce feelings of calm. Specifically, lorazepam works to increase the effects in the brain of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) -- a naturally occurring neurotransmitter (chemical signal sender) -- which has the ability to slow or stop nerve signals, resulting in less anxiety. Lorazepam is usually used to treat anxiety on a short-term basis (no more than two to four weeks).
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