Ativan (lorazepam) is an effective medicine for occasional or short-term anxiety. It’s fast-acting and can help ease your symptoms within minutes. Ativan also has a relatively long-lasting effect, so it can help you stay calm and relaxed for several hours.
However, Ativan can be habit-forming and may be misused or abused. It’s important to take Ativan only as prescribed by your doctor. Taking Ativan more frequently or in larger doses than prescribed can lead to dependence and addiction.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, talk to your doctor about whether Ativan is right for you.
Common side effects of Ativan include:
If you experience any of these side effects, it’s important to contact your doctor. Some side effects may go away on their own, but others may require treatment.
In rare cases, Ativan can cause more serious side effects, including:
– Difficulty breathing
If you experience any of these side effects, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. Ativan can be dangerous if not used as prescribed by a doctor.
Ativan is available in tablet, liquid, and injectable form. The usual starting dose for adults with anxiety is 2 mg to 4 mg per day.
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of Ativan and increase your dose as needed. The maximum recommended dose for adults is 10 mg per day.
If you’re 65 or older, your doctor may start you on a lower dose of Ativan to reduce your risk of side effects.
For children ages 6 to 12, the usual starting dose is 0.05 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight. The maximum recommended dose for children is 2 mg per day.
How Ativan works
Ativan works by binding to receptors in the brain that are responsible for regulating anxiety. It increases the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps reduce anxiety.
Ativan is thought to be similar to other benzodiazepines, such as Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam). However, Ativan is more potent than these other drugs and may be more likely to cause side effects.
Warnings and Precautions
Before taking Ativan, it’s important to tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you have, as well as any other medications or supplements you’re taking. Ativan may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions, such as liver disease, kidney disease, and glaucoma.
Ativan can make you drowsy and impair your judgment, reflexes, and coordination. It’s important not to drink alcohol or take other medications that can make you drowsy while taking Ativan.
Ativan can also be habit-forming. It’s important to take Ativan only as prescribed by your doctor and not to take it for longer than necessary. Misuse or abuse of Ativan can lead to dependence and addiction.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking Ativan. Ativan may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Ativan is a controlled substance and should be kept out of reach of children and pets. Ativan can be dangerous if not used as prescribed by a doctor.
Ativan should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture.