Ativan (Lorazepam)

What is Ativan?

Brand Names: Ativan, Tavor, Temesta

Generic Name: Lorazepam

Strengths: Ativan 1mg, 2mg

is a drug that belongs to the benzodiazepine classification and is available for use as a schedule IV prescription medication. The active ingredient present in this potent medication is Lorazepam. It is used for managing a number of conditions including but not limited to, anxiety disorders, active seizures, sleeping problems, for sedation, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. The medicine can provide incredible therapeutic benefits when used under medical supervision.

How does Ativan work?

Ativan is a short-acting drug that begins to take effect fast but peak effects last for just a few hours. The highly potent anxiety drug works by binding to the GABA receptors and enhancing its effects. This alteration to the neurotransmitters produces the anxiolytic and sedative effects that help in controlling the symptoms being treated.

Dosing information

Ativan is available for use as orally administered tablets in the dosage strengths of 0.5mg, 1mg, and 2mg. The fast-acting nature of the drug means that multiple doses may be required in a day for severe conditions. The maximum recommended dose per day depends on the age group the patient belongs to. The lowest effective dose is first given and increased if required. The healthcare provider should be consulted at all times for any dosage related information.

How should Ativan be taken?

Ativan should always be taken only as indicated by the doctor and also by reading the product literature to know what to expect. Avoid modifying the dosage on your own or taking it for longer than required. If no effects are felt, inform the doctor so the effective dose would be prescribed. Using the medication in any form or method other than as prescribed can lead to dangerous side effects.

Keep track of the Ativan pills and do not share the medication with any person even if the symptoms are similar. Use the doctor’s guidance when discontinuing the drug are there are chances of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Missed dose

The missed dose should be taken as soon as you remember to do so. This dose can be skipped if the schedule for the subsequent dose is nearer. Avoid doubling the dose to make up for the missed dose.


An overdose of Ativan should be treated by seeking emergency medical attention else the symptoms can become fatal. Signs that an individual has overdosed on the anxiety drug are fainting, muscle weakness, extreme sleepiness, confusion, loss of coordination, and light-headedness.

Side effects

Common side effects:

  • Trouble with memory
  • Unsteadiness and lack of balance
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech

Severe side effects that require immediate medical assistance may be:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unusual changes in behavior and mood
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unexplained restlessness or aggression
  • Changes in vision
  • Muscle weakness
  • Jaundice symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

Stop taking the medication if there are any allergic reactions. Consult the doctor without delay in case of new or worsening symptoms.

Precautions of use

Ativan should not be used if you are allergic to the active ingredient Lorazepam or similar benzodiazepines. Those with conditions like glaucoma and myasthenia gravis should avoid using this anxiety med.Ativan abuse can lead to addiction and dangerous drug overdose, including death if there is not timely intervention. Any individual with a history or drug or alcohol abuse should inform the doctor before taking the drug.Pregnant and nursing women should avoid using the drug as the new-born is prone to experiencing life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Combining the benzo drug with alcohol can increase the depressant effects of the latter. The drug is not indicated for use in patients younger than 18.

Drug interactions

Ativan should be taken by keeping in mind that certain drugs can interact adversely with it and hence checking for potentially harmful contraindications. The medications that produce drowsiness or slow down the breathing can become dangerous when consumed along with Ativan, with effects ranging from dangerous side effects to even death. Inform all your doctors when you start or stop using any medication at all. Some of the drugs to watch out for include:

  • Any other anti-anxiety drug
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Seizure drugs
  • Narcotic painkillers
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Probenecid
  • Barbiturates

This is not an exhaustive list. Any prescription, over the counter, vitamin, or herbal supplements should be checked for the safety of use with Ativan.

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